WSKF NEWS

Senior Care Design Trends: A Conversation with Dalyn Novak

May 9, 2021 | Featured News, Main News

Santa Marta in Olathe, Kan., gives residents ample opportunity to connect with and interact with the outdoors.
As part of our next generation of leadership, principal Dalyn Novak is expanding our expertise in senior care facility design.

 

WSKF Architects principal Dalyn Novak is the next generation of leadership in our firm’s longtime practice designing senior care facilities across the full spectrum of care. Here she discusses some of the latest market dynamics and facility design trends as WSKF Architects builds on our portfolio of $180 million in projects in recent years.

What do you see shaping senior care facility design today?

Dalyn: Gen Xers now beginning to age into their retirement years and Baby Boomers are reshaping expectations about retirement living. Gen Xers alone total about 65 million in the U.S. and represent an emerging market for the next 20 years or so.

We are focusing on projects that allow them to be close to family, activities, and restaurants. Living on the outskirts of a community is less desirable to many. Seeking senior housing in areas of mixed age demographics that offer high level of activities is appealing to these two generations. There is also a growing emphasis on drawing in the community and broader public to help residents feel engaged with their neighbors beyond the senior living community. We are working to help foster such interactions.

What about affordability?

Dalyn: There is a large strata with household incomes of about $75,000 or less who represent a sizable market where finances pose a significant barrier to a senior living community. They fall in a gap where they don’t qualify for subsidized housing and much market rate housing is beyond their reach. Serving this market requires a creative and thoughtful approach that begins with the siting of projects, targeted amenities, unit size, and materials and finishes that meet owners’ financial framework while appealing to residents. We are inspired by the challenge of finding that balance.

What else is shaping senior living design today?

Dalyn: Biophillic design is not new but it is shaping more and more of our design for seniors. It is a design concept of increasing connectivity between residents and the natural environment through an integrated design strategy. It supports residents’ cognitive functions as well as physical and psychological wellbeing as well as those of staff and visitors. It shapes so much of our approach to architecture and interior design. Using natural materials such as wood and bamboo, bringing in natural light and use of plants in spaces to foster a connection to nature. Supporting residents’ circadian rhythm wellness through lighting is another area. The idea is to reduce stress and irritability and improve concentration for residents.

ABOUT WSKF ARCHITECTS

We are WSKF Architects. A firm of designers, thinkers, planners, problem solvers, innovators, business people and advocates for our clients. Each day we dedicate ourselves to designing projects of enduring value and pursuing the highest standards of quality, craftsmanship, and service to our clients and community.

North Kansas City, Mo.
110 Armour Road
North Kansas City, Mo., 64116
816-300-4101 (P)
816-300-4102 (F)

Kansas City, Kan.
707 Minnesota Ave., Suite 506
Kansas City, Kan., 66101
913-287-1900 (P)
816-300-4102 (F)

North Kansas City, Mo.
110 Armour Road
North Kansas City, Mo., 64116
816-300-4102 (F)

Kansas City, Kan.
707 Minnesota Ave., Suite 506
Kansas City, Kan., 66101
816-300-4102 (F)