We invite you to play the entire interview by clicking the video below.
I had the privilege of interviewing Christine Irvine, Senior Director of Rehab and Wellness at Plymouth Place, a senior living community in LaGrange, IL and Abby Harlacher, Associate Executive Director at Edgewater, A WesleyLife Community in West Des Moines, IA. I spoke with Chris and Abby separately earlier this year, and our discussions focused on design and how it is implemented for seniors regarding health and wellness. I asked each director a series of questions and included a few of my key takeaways from our conversation.
- When utilizing a space, what are the most important features?
- How is self-motivation among your residents?
- What are some things you do to help motivate your clients?
- What key elements do you need to use your fitness spaces effectively?
- Is intimidation an issue? If so, how do you combat that?
- How do you instill confidence in your users?
- How do you encourage others to participate in your wellness program?
Key takeaways from our conversations:
- Technology guides the fitness equipment and many classes. Listen in to understand what is used and if it’s right for you.
- Communication between partners is what makes projects successful. Designers need to know what questions to ask. Often, the client will not know what’s needed.
- All projects need to be a partnership. It is not solely the designers’ responsibility.
- The foundation of design is lighting, finishes, and acoustics. Everything else makes the space unique and usable.
- Knowing the residents from the moment they move in helps build long, healthy relationships and often encourages them to stay active and healthy.