Category Archives: Wise Interior

Non-institutional interior!

Gives our elderly an increased appetite for food and LIFE!!!

Quote from A.Boa presentation

Quote from the Danish Architect Ane Boa´s presentation at

Follow my blog and share your ideas, perceptions and experiences – Ill soon post more interesting stuff on this topic!

Residential home – the opposite of home?

Hmm but they call it residential home!?

By looking at the photos from my grandmothers residential home its hard to get a glance of a HOME, do you agree? So, how do we make our elderly feel more at home? My answer is INTERIOR DESIGN! I know that no matter what, its not possible to make a copy of my grandmas real home, BUT no doubt – it is possible, and should be the content of the definition of a residential homethat a residential home is a place offering our elderly a so-close-to-home alike environment with a nice and warm atmosphere, a place where they can feel safe and identify themselves in what surrounds them! My grandma never owned a white laminate and steel dinner table!!

What does the research say? 

Anjali Joseph, Ph.D., Director of Research at The Center for Health Design in California did a research back in 2006 to assess the relationship between physical environmental factors and resident and staff outcomes in different types of long-term-care settings. The research was based on more than 250 peer reviewed journal articles within architecture, nursing, psychology, and psychiatry. Her key findings were – physical environment have an impact both on patients, their family, and the staff! Especially showing in the residents quality of life, the residents feeling of safety, and staff stress . 

Surprise it doesn’t chock me! What chocks me or better, what makes me so embarrassed and angry is that, it seems like (at least in Denmark) that nobody is taken that knowledge into account and done something about! I know that private homes have a tendency to do a much better job when it comes to interior and environmental factors, but lets face it, the majority of the elderly in Denmark end up in our public cares settings!

I can refer to a bunch of studies, but if nobody is acting on it – whats the value?

With the knowledge of a world wide population getting older and older, we are facing an increase of the elderly population with a need for care settings – care settings that actually takes care of them, not only in meeting their visible needs but also there “invisible” needs like offering them caring environments designed to promote their well being! It is like that in Denmark and I just read, in the mentioned research report by Anjali Joseph, that they estimate by year 2030, nearly 150 million Americans will have a chronic condition and consequently a need for quality long-term care (Joseph, 2006:2).

Ill end tonights post with this quote from an article published in Seniors Housing Update August 2008 from Gerontology research centre. It speaks for itself!!

“Many residents complained that they did not know where they should go because there were so many identical tables. In addition, their furniture and finishing gave an institutional ambience (e.g., furniture were mainly made of metal frames and vinyl covers, linoleum flooring), that added confusion and disorientation for residents with dementia. The dining rooms in River Rock Manor were quieter as a result of fewer people and smaller size.They had homelike features (e.g., cabinetry, cooking oven, fireplace, colorful curtains and furniture made of wood and fabrics), that helped to make the place familiar for residents to eat”.

Wanna enjoy your golden age here??

Sorry, but I´d rather die than getting locked up in a place like this!
I would simply turn in to a grumpy and depressed old lady! 

Take a look at these photos, do you recognize how your grandparents used to sit in the warm and welcoming “lounge”? How does it make you feel thinking your grandparents, parents or maybe yourself possible (hopefully not) will end your days in surroundings like this?

I´ll start this debate by telling a short story about my meeting with residential homes in Denmark. My mum was working in a residential home since I was newborn until I turned 25, which means I, in many ways, kicked off my life there! BUT, as far as I remember the place looked like, and the atmosphere felt like being at my grandparents house with old furnitures, wallpaper, carpets, small sconces, long and heavy curtains and fluffy often home crocheted pillows in different brownish and orange patterns. Unfortunately (in this context), it seems like, times has changed big time! In Denmark everything has turned into be so minimalistic, even at the residential homes they have peeled of the textile from the armchairs, if you are lucky the chairs have “arms”! It seems like the people (who I still really don’t know who are) don’t think about or simply forget who the residents are. I have to stress that I have also been at homes for elderly anno 2014, where the interior design was spot on! Unfortunately I have a feeling that it isn’t the tendency, what do you think?

I was chocked the day my grandmother moved into, what it actually was, her last home! HOME!?? ! “Naked” white walls, no colors, no fluffy pillows, old furnitures, cozy curtains – no nothing!! BUT SIGNS! Hmm, I don’t remember my grandma used to put up signs! The interior design in this so called home couldn’t be more far from where my grandma came from. What I want to address here is the lack of thoughts behind the interior design in the common areas! Behind her own door she was aloud to bring almost all here own furnitures (but still white walls and dazzling ceiling lights). How dare we offer our elderly surroundings like this and call it a home?

Ill soon bring summaries from studies, links and articles addressing the link between interior design, health and wellbeing!

%d bloggers like this: