Health Supportive Design in Elderly Care Homes
Prof. Alan Dilani , Sookyoung Lee & Agnetta Morelli
Swedish Examples and their implications on Korean Counterparts
The objective of this research study was twofold; 1) to explore and identify health supportive design factors in Swedish elderly care homes and 2) to understand their usefulness and suggest applications in Korean elderly care settings. A descriptive and explorative method was applied using a combination of field studies and semi-structured interviews. Three study trips were carried out during Sept. 14th and Oct. 12th 2005; two facilities situated in Stockholm suburbs and one in the south of Sweden. According to this research, the valuable factors to support health and well-being for the elderly are as follows; 1) Community integration: In urban planning, these elderly care homes are generally places close to a residential area center or a city center. Services are often shared between residents and community members at large, consequently there is a flow of “visitors” of all ages connecting with the facility on a daily basis. 2) Homelike environment: A noteworthy aspect of Swedish elderly care homes is keeping the facility appearance as homelike as possible. The associations with home may be explored through the appearance and configuration of both the exterior and interior of the building. These homes seemed to be designed with a conscious aim to create a homelike setting. 3) Accessibility to garden and nature: The courtyard is a well developed concept in designing elderly care homes in Sweden. They are generally safe and easily accessible to the residents. Studying Swedish models may provide practical knowledge of how the physical setting may improve resident’s health in Korean elderly care homes.