Getting older is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t have to stop people from enjoying their life to the fullest. Seniors want to maintain as much independence as possible, regardless of where they are living. Being strategic about assisted living design concepts can help residents make the most of senior living and enhance their quality of life.

Keeping Pace with Changing Times

The interests and expectations of seniors have evolved over the years. Long gone are the days of small, sterile rooms with institutional décor. Residents want comfortable, inviting spaces and opportunities to socialize. They are looking to build a sense of community, and more modern assisted living design concepts can help them do just that.

More than 800,000 Americans call assisted living communities home. While safety is a top priority, so is creating an environment where residents can thrive and where their physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being is addressed. That means incorporating a variety of amenities into senior living that meets residents’ needs and keeps them engaged.

Popular Assisted Living Design Concepts

Here are just a few of the rooms and spaces that assisted living communities are implementing to appeal to the active lifestyles of residents:

Diverse Dining Areas

Rather than crowding everyone into a single traditional dining room, give residents options. Patio areas with tables, quaint cafes, bistros, and ice cream parlors give residents more independence to choose what they want to eat and where. They can enjoy a change of scenery and sit outside when the weather is nice rather than always eating in a more formal dining room.

Multipurpose Room

These spaces offer a lot of versatility. They can be used for special events such as holiday celebrations, family gatherings, card playing activities, birthday parties, or lunch-and-learns. It is also a great place to bring everyone together for an in-house concert, entertainer, or movie showing. Clubs and activities for residents can also be held there so that more people can join in and interact with each other. Families could even reserve the space for get-togethers so their loved one doesn’t have to travel.

Social Lounge

Create a comfortable space where residents can go to socialize and create activity around similar interests. Creating integrated storage concepts for books, movies, games, and other resources to keep options and flexibility for special use and activity. It could be modeled after a library with organized shelves to make materials easier to find. There could also be a technology section where residents can use computers to look up information, play games, or video chat with family and friends.

Fitness Area

Staying active is essential to seniors’ physical and mental health. Many residents are unable to travel to a local gym or fitness center, so having one located within the community is advantageous. Consider including a variety of equipment as well as holding fitness classes such as yoga, Pilates, aerobics, or dance that are geared toward residents’ ability levels. A pool can be a wonderful addition for aquatic therapy, water aerobics, and relaxation.


The next generation of seniors expect a space where they can be pampered with massages, facials, or special treatments they are accustomed to prior to moving into your campus. They can relax, loosen tense muscles, and care for their skin and body in a luxurious and calm setting.


Seniors still want to look their best, even when living in an assisted living community. A salon and barbershop that also provides manicure and pedicure services are highly attainable and popular. It can also enable residents to continue their routine that they were used to prior to moving into the community.


The aging population is used to socializing at the bar and typically enjoys talking or playing cards while sipping a beverage of choice. Incorporating a bar and hosting happy hours can encourage residents to engage with one another while in a safe, secure setting. The key is designing them larger than you think. These spaces often host a myriad of events and parties.

Recent Trends in Assisted Living Design Concepts

Aside from creating dedicated spaces for dining, recreation, and personal care, assisted living design concepts also incorporate trends that appeal to aging populations. This includes things such as:

  • Indoor/Outdoor dining venues to support happy lifestyles and opportunity for social gatherings
  • Outdoor spaces, including walking trails, fountains, and gardens.
  • Natural lighting and lots of windows to make rooms appear larger and brighter.
  • Open areas and strategic furniture placement to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistive devices so that residents can move around more safely and comfortably.
  • Connected areas that make it easier to transition between rooms, increase access to amenities, and create a greater sense of community.

Building a More Inviting Space

Many residents want to enjoy the services, support, and safety of an assisted living community without losing the homelike feeling or independence that they are used to. Expanding available amenities and designing senior living around what is important to residents can enhance their overall experience and quality of life.

Contact the senior living interior design experts at Eight Twenty8 Design to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you optimize your assisted living community.

“Knowing the direct impact I’ve experienced with seniors, just through the basics of design, fuels my passion for improving the lives of people who mean the most to us.”
— Keri Moore-Muñiz, President