Do’s and Don’ts of Senior Living Furniture

The senior living industry is growing rapidly and the needs of its facilities are changing.  Choosing furniture for these projects is a balancing act between high-use functionality, comfort, and style. You can browse our collection of styles designed especially for senior living, but you’ll still need to consider all aspects of specification process. Here are a few important do’s and don’ts when purchasing or specifying furniture for senior and assisted living projects:

  • DO think about safety. No matter what furniture you choose for your assisted living project, it should be backed by a warranty against defects and should be built soundly. Mitigate accidental injuries by carefully considering the placement of sharp edges and metal details.
  • DO pay attention to furniture’s dimensions. The arm height, seat height, and seat depth of your seating are paramount to the comfort and safety of end-users.  Dining chairs, sofas, and lounge chairs must be easy for those with limited mobility to “get in and out of”.
  • DON’T choose furniture based solely on aesthetics. Just because it would look good in the space, doesn’t mean it is appropriate for the environment. But….
  • DON’T underestimate the aesthetics of your end-user.  It’s not your grandma’s “retirement home” anymore. Ok, so it is likely that grandmas and grandpas live there, but todays’ assisted and senior living environments eschew the stigmas of the past.  Savvy interior designers are tapping into Baby Boomers’ desire for classic contemporary style. Think fresh and modern…instead of faux-antique.  Just remember…

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  • DO keep your budget under control by prioritizing.  If your budget feels restrictive, know when to splurge. Sometimes an inexpensive dining chair is a practical choice and will allow you to focus funds on statement-making, comfortable lounge and lobby seating. Or perhaps you want to focus on the dining environment, but you can specify a smaller number of lounge chairs.
  • DO choose appropriate textiles.  There are a number of things to think about when it comes to textiles: stain-resistant and anti-microbial properties, ease of cleaning, durability, comfort and aesthetics.  (Stay tuned for an entire blog post about this one!)
  • DO consider purchasing custom furniture and DON’T forget the details. Commercial furniture can often look…well, too commercial, but residential furniture won’t meet the high-use demands of a senior living environment. The perfect seating solution for your project may be a custom one.  Beyond custom design and dimensions, consider custom details like casters, high density foam, moisture barrier protection, and clean-out features.

If you are new to custom furniture for assisted living projects, feel free to contact us to discuss your project in more detail. We love a good challenge!