After extensive renovations, all of our Golda Meir House residents are settled into their newly renovated apartments, just in time for the holiday season. And they love their new homes! Our residents helped to choose modern, high-quality materials, and the apartments feature light-filled rooms, beautiful wooden cabinets, and sparkling quartz countertops.
But it’s the “universal design” features that make these apartments noteworthy. In fact, they are models for adaptable apartments that can accommodate people as they age. Some features, like non-slip flooring and towel bars that also function as grab bars, add an extra measure of safety by helping to prevent falls. Others, such as carefully-selected door handles and drawer pulls, address the challenges of arthritis. And all new and renovated apartments feature showers that one can easily step into or roll into using a wheelchair.
When we set out to plan these renovations, there was no road map to follow. So, we created it! With support from Enterprise Community Partners, we developed our “Design Guidelines for Aging in Community.” Drawing on the knowledge of staff across the organization, from resident services to maintenance, the manual summarizes our design practices, with recommendations for each type of space, architectural specifications, and a list of sample products.
“2Life Communities has an exceptional grasp of who they’re serving,” says Alma Balonon-Rosen, Director of Relationship Management at Enterprise. “They understand the needs and concerns of older adults and have created truly resident-driven communities where every decision, from flooring to furniture to their fabulous new name, supports residents’ health and quality of life.”
The Design Guidelines will enable us to achieve an even higher level of consistency and quality as we complete The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg House on our Brighton campus, and begin work on a new 2Life Community in Brookline. This manual can also serve as a useful tool for others in the fields of affordable and senior housing, and we are happy to share.