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Medical Center Design Focuses on Seniors

By Cathryn Jakicic Design & Construction

Institutional and commercial facilities serve an array of visitors and occupants, and one important challenge for facility managers, as well as designers and architects, is to ensure that facilities are comfortable and safe for all. Health care organizations in particular need to ensure their facilities address the physical needs and limitations of people seeking medical attention.

Consider the case of the Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville (Texas), which has designed its new emergency room to cater to an elderly population, according to the Brownsville Herald. The geriatric emergency department, which opened in May, is designed to meet mobility challenges faced by older patients.

There are now five rooms that are specifically designed with the city’s senior population in mind. The beds are lower to the ground, which helps the patients with getting in and out of beds while reducing fall risk. The nurse’s computer is right next to the rooms so that they are immediately available. The restroom is in close proximity to the rooms, further reducing fall risk.

The geriatric emergency department has smooth wood-colored flooring with matching trim on the wall, and the light seems softer in the new unit. The rooms also are not packed full of medical equipment.

This Quick Read was submitted by Cathryn Jakicic, Healthcare Industries Editor, FacilitiesNet. For more about hospital campuses and other medical facilities, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/healthcarefacilities.


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