Senior Living After COVID: SRC Explorers

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from: Longevity Explorers | Saratoga Retirement Community

Discussion Summary

Saratoga Retirement Community residents offer thoughtful suggestions for needed changes in group housing and services based on their experiences with congregate living during the Covid-induced restrictions to occupancy.


Ways to Redesign Campus Buildings and Services 

  • Build 'hub and spoke' residential pods of eight to ten individuals (a 'bubble' to prevent cross-contamination from the greater community during contagion) with shared services for only the residents of the pod. When there is little risk of contagion, the pod may be more open to the rest of the community.
    • This design provides more of a 'Co-Housing' architecture with private living quarters and common meeting and dining spaces.
    • Provides needed access to the outdoors and natural light via covered outdoor pathways.
  • HealthCare (nursing care) center - also arrayed in pods (vs. a communal building).
  • Totally rework the ventilation systems.
  • Provide UV light in all entryways of buildings.
  • Bring the entire campus into the present day by providing touchless (voice-operated) 'everything'.


Some Additional Thoughts

  • Covid or another contagion may recur to make the changes necessary now as well as in the future.
  • Community activities made life more interesting during isolation.
  • On-campus food delivery to apartments was much appreciated.
  • Telemedicine and exercise via Zoom were very helpful and will be popular in the future.
  • Housekeeping services dropped markedly at the onset of contagion until staff learned how to provide housekeeping services safely. 

The group readily agreed that a much-needed improvement would be to allow Independent Living residents to have assistive services in their apartments without moving to a separate Assisted Living building.




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Key words: 
senior housing, design, accessibility. modularity, lessons from Covid lockdown