Design Procedure for the Old Age Homes
But before we start with discussing our design consideration factors, it is very important to know what an Old Age Home is like and what is its purpose of construction…
One important thing to be kept in mind before initiating the design process is that, we should study the purpose of the construction and what they are like.
This will give us a clear idea of what we are actually suppose to consider in the design…
Apart from literature case studies, Live case studies are also very important…
In my previous articles, we have discussed eleven factors to be considered for a successful case study…
Old Age Homes
Old age homes are meant for senior citizens who suffer with a problem in staying with their children at home or are destitute. These homes are for older people who have nowhere to go and no one to depend on… These homes create a friendly and family like atmosphere for the elderly people where they can share their joys and sorrows and live happily. Old Age Homes are pretty developed in United States, United Kingdom and there is recent development seen in the construction of Old Age Homes in India.
These old age homes have special medical facilities for senior citizens such as mobile health care systems, ambulances, nurses and provision of well-balanced meals. So basically, it is a housing project for senior citizens of that country.
Old Age Homes have two main categories:
- Homes providing free Accomodation
- Homes working on a payment basis
Apart from food, shelter and medical amenities, old age homes also provide yoga classes to senior citizens. Old age homes also provide access to telephones and other forms of communication so that residents may keep in touch with their loved ones. Some old age homes have day care centres. These centres only take care of senior citizens during the day.
Location of Old Age Homes
- Studying the location of the structure is the most important factor. This will help us determine the climatic conditions of the place. Orientation of a building with respect to climatic conditions of the place.
- Location of an Old Age Home is of prime importance.
- It could be a part of the urban setting or it could be in a rural area. It depends on the kind of people that are going to stay in it.
- Some people prefer idyllic areas while some would like to live in close proximity to the quick facilities of the city.
- An Old Age Home should be preferably located in a calm, pollution free environment with all the basic necessities that are required for any comfortable housing project.
Design Concept for Old Age Homes
- Design of Old Age Homes depends on the social and economic status of the people who are going to reside in the homes.
- They could be the dormitary type, independent rooms or cottages…
- The rooms should be well-ventilated.
- Designing a ground Floor in an Old Age Home is of utmost importance. Possibly all the basic facilities in the home should be provided on the ground floor. If this is not possible and if upper floors have to be built then a sloping ramp has to be provided for facilitating easy passage of wheel chair and make movement of people with crutches easier.
- The toilets and bathrooms should have rough flooring so that the elders do not slip. Suitable railings should be provided for support.
- Recreation rooms and rooms for medical care should be built.
Working Staff in the Old Age Homes
- An administrator is must for the homes of the aged who will be responsible for the running of the home.
- Supporting staff such as clerks, cashier cum accountant, nursing staff, attenders, maids and a cook are the basic required staff for the efficient running of a old age home.
- A medical officer will be needed to attend to the health needs of the inmates. If the home is very close to a hospital where emergencies can be treated then, it may be enough to avail the services of a Doctor, who works there part-time.
- A nutritionist can play an important role by providing special attention to the nutritional requirements of the residents. At least a part-time nutritionist should be appointed.
- A professionally qualified social worker is an essential member of the team of personnel.
- Wherever possible nursing staff and health care workers trained in Geriatric care should be appointed.
- There is a need for helpers in the Old Age Homes who will take care of the Old people and help them move around…
- After figuring out the staff requirements for the Old Age Homes, we can determine the amount of space required for their offices and construction of quarters where they can stay while on job.
Medical Care Facilities in Old Age Homes
There should be a sterile store room where all medicines and medical accessories that may be needed for treatment of the residents are to stored as per the advice of a general physician.
- There are certain instruments that are necessary for the medical treatment such as Oxygen cylinders, suction apparatus and intra-venous sets should be readily available. Drugs should be replaced periodically, considering their expiry date.
- Transport facilities such as ambulances or any other vehicle that is similarly equipped as an ambulance should be available in case there is a need to rush them to the hospital for intensive care.
Recreational Facilities in an Old Age Home
- Provision of recreational facilities is must. Old people also need entertainment so that their mind does not remain idle. This will help their life become lively and happy and keep them away from any kind of depressing thoughts.
- Facilities such as small reading area, televisions, video players, newspapers and books should be provided.
- Not all old people like sedentary lifestyle…Depending on the extent of the physical activity of the residents other facilities for active sports such as: tennis, table tennis, squash can be provided.
- A small computer room could be provided for accessing the internet which is a must in today’s world. That will keep the residents mentally active and aware of the world outside…
From our discussion we can conclude some of the most important and basic Requirements in an Old Age Home
- Common Rooms
- Single and Double Bedrooms
- Pantry in every Bedroom
- Main Kitchen
- Dining Area
- Television Area
- Reading room
- Praying room
- Computer room
- Offices for the staff
- Common Toilets
- Sports Facilities for Tennis, Badminton etc.
- A Landscaped Garden with a jogging track
A lot of emphasis is being given on the design of Old age homes in the west especially in the UK. The importance of old age homes design has increased with the increase in the number of homes across the world.