Assisted living, a relatively new industry, provides an alternative to traditional long-term care. These residences serve the increasing numbers of elders who need help with daily activities but wish to maintain independence. Although they are promoted as resident centered and noninstitutional, research based on consumer input indicates that many older adults and their family members do not find the buildings to be particularly friendly, warm, or supportive In Humanistic Design of Assisted Living, John P. Marsden has translated research-based information into innovative and practicable design strategies that directly address those unfavorable perceptions. Marsden provides an overview of assisted living's evolution then addresses the current information resources available to designers. He discusses successful humanistic design and presents a conceptual framework, based on consumer-based research, composed of six themes: familiar housing cues, protective enclosure, caring cues, human scale, usability, and naturalness. He applied this framework to specific guidelines for building exteriors, interior entries, and common shared spaces. His recommendations are supported by photographs that demonstrate effective design strategies as well as some less-successful examples.
This comprehensive and accessible book presents essential design guidelines for housing owners, operators, administrators, policy makers, gerontologists, interior designers, and architects.
John P. Marsden is an associate professor and director of the interior architecture program at Chatham College. He contributed a chapter in Aging, Autonomy, and Architecture, available from Johns Hopkins.