Strong Connections Found Between Campus Design and Resident Engagement

Holleran, the nation’s premiere research and consulting firm serving aging service providers, has discovered a crucial advancement in understanding the impact that community design and mobility has on engagement. Specifically, a community designed for ease of mobility predicts a 13% increase in resident engagement across the board.

These findings were especially strong as it pertains to how well residents feel that their desires and concerns are addressed. This research definitively demonstrates that when residents are given a say in how their community is designed, constructed and organized, they will be more engaged in day-to-day life and more content with the campus.

“Instinctively, this discovery makes complete sense,” says Nikki Rineer, President of Holleran. “I’m not sure that leaders in the aging services space have realized just how important it is for them to include resident opinions in their expansion and construction plans. This goes beyond being able to pick which countertop or cabinet fixtures you prefer. It’s about understanding the practical needs of aging in place, which is clearly the direction in which the market is moving.”

No one understands these needs better than Mike Martin, Managing Partner of RLPS Architects, a firm that specializes in the planning and design of Life Plan communities. “We encourage our clients to conduct focus groups with current and prospective residents. This process allows residents at all levels of care to have a voice, sharing their thoughts and ideas for what we can do better. This allows our team to gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of a community and ultimately deliver a design solution centered around resident experiences.”

This discovery was made possible thanks to Holleran’s proprietary benchmark, which includes the opinions and views of more than 96,000 Independent Living residents, all surveyed within the last 24 months. By analyzing this data, Holleran’s researchers are able to find correlations that both reinforce commonly held beliefs and shatter preconceived notions about living in a retirement community.