Nursing homes are designed to serve patients who require preventive, therapeutic, and rehabilitative nursing services for non-acute and long-term conditions. Usually residents are elderly and frail, but not bedridden, although many require canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to help them get around.

Patient stays are relatively long overall, with the majority of residents staying for the remaining months or years of their lives. Most UK nursing homes will also care for a number of recovering patients who are recovering from an acute illness but no longer require hospitalization.

Nursing homes present special design challenges in that, for most residents, the nursing home is not only an institution, but also their home. The reality is that in most cases residents will live there for the rest of their lives and, moreover, will rarely leave the premises. The retirement home therefore becomes their entire universe. The challenge is to design an environment that is sensitive and responsive to long-term human needs and well-being, both physical and emotional. Fortunately, there are a growing number of companies that specialize in manufacturing and supplying stylish and practical nursing home furniture, which means that designers are no longer limited when it comes to interior design.

Construction attributes

Nursing homes are primarily focused on patient care rather than medicine, and therefore, its most important attributes are those that focus on the overall happiness of its residents rather than high-tech considerations. The characteristics of a well-designed nursing home are:

Warm environment

The impact of the environment and the environment on the recovery of nursing home patients cannot be underestimated. The architect and the interior designer of the building must acquire a thorough understanding of the function of the place and the profile of his patients. Care must be taken to ensure that the exterior and interior design responds to physical and mental disabilities as well as vision loss. It should all be packaged in a way that suggests a home away from home as opposed to a medical institute.


In order to create the most efficient space possible for staff and patients, nursing home design should promote efficiency by minimizing the distance to travel between the most frequently used spaces such as recreation rooms, the dining rooms and the toilets.

Ease of supervision is another key feature, as allowing supervision of patients by a minimum of staff can reduce the total number of staff required by the nursing home and can free up nurses to perform other tasks. at any time.

Cleanliness and sanitation

Odor control is a priority for all nursing homes, as many patients are likely to experience occasional incontinence. The resulting smell can give the impression of bad hyginene and impurity to family and other visitors. In addition to operational practices and careful choice of retirement home furnishings, the following design features may also help:

Highly visible washrooms in key locations near spaces where residents congregate

The use of appropriate and durable finishes for each space used by residents

Appropriate details of features such as door frames, cabinetry and finish transitions to avoid crevices and hard-to-clean joints

Adequate and conveniently located cleaning spaces

Efficient ventilation, which may need to exceed nominal design levels.

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