The new look of senior living

Home is in.

Sara Marberry and more than 30 design professionals and senior living experts gathered to select the senior living design trends at the third annual Senior Living Design Symposium hosted by flooring manufacturer J+J Flooring Group.

“The senior living market is constantly evolving, which can provide both challenges and opportunities for designers and operators in this industry,” says Bob Bethel, J+J Flooring Group Director of Business development.

The top four trends for 2017 are:

1. Defining home

The household model continues to gain traction with an increasing emphasis on creating a place that feels less institutional and holds more meaning, reflective of residents varied and individual backgrounds. Senior living communities will need to continue adapting to a changing design aesthetic.

2. Connection to community

A common complaint from residents is isolation from each other, extended families and community at large. Design can help break down perceived and actual barriers through use of shared space. The question should not be “What can we offer seniors?” but instead “What do seniors want to do?”

3. Support for staff

Staff are also part of the senior living community. They need to feel valued so they ca provide their best care for employees. A comfortable work space is a physical reminder of their value. Progressive facilities are taking a page of the Google handbook and creating staff break rooms with lounge seating, ping pong tables, sleep rooms and full kitchen with free food.

4. Details matter

Finishing touches help make any place feel like home. Interiors can provide opportunities for interaction, relationship and respect between residents and caregivers. Those details are particularly important at the mid- to high price range for relatives who are looking for a place to entrust their loved ones where they feel comfortable.

The 2016 report is available for free download at

Read Marberry’s 2016 predictions to see how much (or little) has changed in interior design for senior living residences. 

Topics: Design , Executive Leadership