Key factors when planning and designing care facilities

An effective and efficient care environment needs to facilitate patient and resident mobility. This means that the space and layout should allow for the ergonomic use of mobility aids and equipment which enables patients and residents to participate in daily activities and personal care routines.

Over time, elderly residents may become increasingly dependent on caregivers to perform their daily activities. As such, their care environment needs to be adaptable for residents with different levels of mobility, as well as different levels of cognition.

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Designing healthcare facilities for efficient care
One way to compensate for at least some of the growing need for more caregivers, without compromising on care quality, is to improve caregiver efficiency. The right equipment, ergonomic working techniques and a well-planned care environment all help to facilitate efficiency.

It may also be important to introduce care procedures that require only one caregiver, instead of two or more. Helping the resident maintain or improve their independence will also contribute to this efficiency process by reducing their dependence on caregiver assistance.

Modern resident handling and hygiene equipment is often designed for use by a single caregiver. The single caregiver approach may also enable the resident to receive more personal attention, and facilitate a calmer care situation. Single handed care may also be efficient, as the caregiver does not have to wait for a colleague to assist. Some policies dictate that two caregivers are needed to transfer a resident with a patient lift, however, typically in these situations the second caregiver may take a passive role in supervising the resident. The space requirements recommended in our architectural guidelines have not considered a second caregiver. Exceptions may include additional support for plus size residents or patients with cognitive or behavioral limitations.

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Architect Portal
We have developed a comprehensive selection of plan drawings detailing the minimum required working space needed for caregivers to be able to use the necessary mechanical aids as intended. These drawings depict individual care situations rather than full rooms, so that they can be selected and combined to suit any facility floor plan. However, complete drawings are also available for ideal room types, such as resident rooms, bathrooms and soiled utility rooms, to provide a planning guideline.

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