The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) released its first Senior Living Resource Guide, addressing the role of interior design professionals to consider the health and well-being of older individuals who want to live autonomously. Developed by ASID’s Committee on Adaptive Living, the guide provides insight on the current challenges of senior living communities and offers solutions for practitioners to adopt as they support this demographic in the built environment.
Challenges explored in the guide include social isolation, the spread of illnesses and lack of choices for leisure and living environments, which have impacted the mental and physical health of many adults over the age of 65. From this research, the guide equips designers with tools to design for safe community interaction, prevent social isolation and improve the wellbeing of residents, caregivers, and employees in these spaces. After careful consideration of these needs, the committee formulated eight principles for the design of healthy community living: designing for autonomy, alleviating isolation, prioritizing connectivity, facilitating engagement, integrating wellness, elevating building systems, emphasizing attainability, and leading stakeholder collaboration. With each principle in mind, the guide details a design strategy that better supports adults aged 65 and over in shared public thresholds, semi-public thresholds, and private thresholds.