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The association between the shape of Long-Term Care Units and residents’ wellbeing

Authors: Yifat Rom; Yuval Plagi; Eliyahu Greenberg; Michal Isaacson;

The association between the shape of Long-Term Care Units and residents’ wellbeing

Abstract

The increasing number of older adults and the ones needing 24-hour assistance and hence liv-ing in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) has led to the development of well-being models that acknowledge the environment as an important factor the influences well-being. Acknowledging this importance, numerous studies on the effects of the environment in LTCFs on well-being among older residents have enriched the knowledge on environmental variables affecting well-being. These studies have yielded conflicting results on topics such as the recommended hallway shape and optimal nursing-station position. Moreover, complying environmental as-sessment tools that rely on different amounts and combinations of the researched variables were formed. Most of these tools assess the variables in a dichotomous manner (either the var-iable is present or not); thus, the significance and weight of each variable are overlooked. A need for an additional quantitative measurement tool led to the development of the Psy-cho-Social Evaluation Tool (PSET) (Rom et al., 2022), which measures the effect of the units’ physical layout on well-being. By analyzing architectural plans from 40 long-term care units with the PSET, the current study demonstrates how the effect of physical layout on well-being is re-lated to various variables in different domains. To demonstrate this, this paper focuses on con-flicting recommendations regarding hallway shape, which affects the overall unit layout during the design process. We argue that all physical layout variables related to well-being should be measured during the design process and viewed as a part of the bank of resources since one variable (like hallway shape) is not sufficient to predict how LTCF units support residents’ well-being.

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