Re-Thinking the Future

New Trends in Aged Care Design in New Zealand

There has been a significant shift when it comes to designing aged care facilities, turning away from traditional concepts. The trends we now see that are shaping future aged care facilities: Embracing community, innovation, accessibility, sustainability, and the pursuit of happiness.

At Gel we really enjoy navigating this innovative landscape, where we are paving the way for a future in aged care facilities that are not just places of support but places where residents will thrive.

Integration with Neighbourhoods: Embracing Community Connections

The era of walled fortresses is fading away as aged care facilities choose to integrate with their neighbourhoods. The shift towards creating open, inviting spaces that connect with the wider community not only promotes inclusivity but also enables residents to stay engaged (mentally and physically) with day-to-day life outside their doors. This promotes wellbeing and fosters a sense of community and shared experiences, reducing social isolation.

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Innovative Residential Models: Beyond Traditional Layouts

Innovative residential models are offering alternatives to the conventional aged care layout. Small-scale, homelike environments and cluster-based living arrangements are becoming increasingly popular. These models prioritise a sense of community while respecting individual privacy, creating a living experience that can be both communal and personalised.

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Human-Centric & Accessible Design: Fostering Dignity and Autonomy

Human-centric, universally accessible designs are becoming non-negotiable. Spaces are crafted with a focus on promoting ease of movement, minimising physical barriers. This design approach fosters individual choice and independence, aiding inclusivity and upholding the dignity of residents, no matter their physical abilities.

Sustainable Design Principles: Building for Tomorrow

Sustainability is at the core of modern aged care design, with a commitment to green building practices, energy-efficient systems, and eco-friendly materials. From solar panels to water conservation measures and rain gardens, these initiatives not only contribute to environmental responsibility but also ensure the long-term resilience and efficiency of aged care spaces.

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Sparking Joy and Social Interactions: Crafting Happiness

Inspired by the Japanese philosophy of "Ikigai," aged care design is now centred around creating environments that bring happiness into residents' lives. Vibrant communal spaces, thoughtful interior design, and a diverse range of activities contribute to a dynamic and engaging atmosphere. The aim is not just to meet physical needs but to create environments where every resident can find fulfilment and joy in their daily lives.

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These trends herald a new era in aged care design. By embracing these five principles, we are crafting spaces that not only meet the practical needs of residents but also enhance their overall quality of life, ensuring they live with comfort, dignity, and joy.

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