Shaw Contract partnered with the Ageless Living Collaborative to host the first in a series of senior living community design symposiums in which designers identified the various senior living typologies and discussed the latest models of senior living and how they impact design.

Held at the Atlanta, Georgia Shaw Contract showroom, the event panel was made up of senior living design industry leaders Phoebe Stein and David Ashen, co-founders of the Ageless Living Collaborative, a non-profit aimed at senior living community education; Jane Rohde, principal, JSR Associates; and Dean Maddelena, president, StudioSix 5.

An example of a senior living typology that is growing in popularity is the small house model, while the concept of intergenerational living is a model that is also gaining momentum.

The small house model is defined as a residential typology that is essentially a residential assisted living facility. Small houses can host as many as eight residents up to 30. This model is popular as it allows residents to continue performing the activities they enjoy such as gardening and cooking, and it blends into the community in which it is based.

“Individuals who come to live in that small house model get to bring whatever their favorite skill is into the mix,” said Stein. “If you’ve got a guy who every Sunday made sauce and made dinner for the family, he can still do that. If you’ve got someone who tended a vegetable garden and everything was grown in that garden, that person can still do it.”

Rohde points to the Live Together concept, created by the Live Together Institute, as an example of intergenerational living. This concept is defined as “an intergenerational model of life proposed to be co-located with various types of settings and adaptable to the site, needs and population.” The community model of intergenerational living in this context is designed to bring together senior adults and at-risk youth for the purpose of breaking down barriers such as isolation to promote growth. This model is varies based on location and the needs of the residents.

Following the panel discussion, Rohde talked specifically about how LVT, sheet vinyl and thoughtful flooring transitions are impacting specifications in senior living spaces.

Watch our Interview with Jane Rohde

“LVT is what has changed the market,” Rohde said. “We still see some sheet vinyl in terms of heterogeneous and homogeneous. We use some soft surface in resident rooms. It’s a combination, a lot of times, with LVT and carpet, and we are really careful with our transitions.”

Allison Wolff, director of senior living and healthcare, Shaw Contract, and Ashley Ginn, design director healthcare and senior living studio, Shaw Contract, focused on a new innovation in soft-surface flooring, Cultivate Soul.

“What I love about Cultivate Soul is it emphasizes the idea of community, sense of home and comfort,” said Ginn.

“[Cultivate Soul is] developed in tile and broadloom, so you have the benefits of modular where you need it, but if you need a broadloom with a moisture barrier backing, that’s running line too,” said Wolff.

Shaw Contract will continue the event in 2023 at its various showrooms across the country.

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