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Blueprints for Senior Living

December 2015 Issue

Letter from the Chairs

Dear Blueprints for Senior Living Readers,

Happy Holidays! 

We end the year with the topic of dining concepts and our first full year of themed editions of Blueprints for Senior Living. We wish to thank all of you who submitted articles according to the quarterly themes this year. We couldn’t have done it without your support. We will continue the practice of theming Blueprints for Senior Living in 2016 and would like to take the opportunity to announce each quarter’s theme as well as the deadlines associated with each:

Quarter One 2016

  • Theme: Sustainability
  • Content Sought: Articles could feature structures and/or processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.
  • Deadline for article submission: March 1, 2016
  • What is needed: Please send the title of your proposed article and a short paragraph describing its contents to by March 1, 2016. We ask that articles be original submissions and 200-800 words in length. You are also highly encouraged to include pictures if they are available.

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In this issue

DFAR12 Book on Sale for $45

DFAR12 Book Cover    

This compilation of more than 30 outstanding projects in the areas of assisted living, continuing care retirement communities, and nursing homes represents the best current work designed by architects for the ever-increasing aging population.

Each project is presented with photographs, detailed plans, and statistics, illuminating the high level of research, planning and community involvement that goes into these advancements in living environments for seniors.

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Dining and Home

By Shannon Pirie, B.Arch, M.Arch - In 2007, I completed a cross-Canada research trip to look at social and affordable housing in urban centers. This was part of a larger doctoral thesis project that I was working on at the time - an inquiry into the ‘idea of home’ from an architectural perspective.  Of course, when I think about the notion of home, food, dining, eating, and mealtime are at the heart of so many important domestic rituals. 

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Shannon Pirie

Outdoor Dining - Expanding the Culinary Experience

John Kennedy, CDM Jack Carman, FASLA, RLA

By John Kennedy, CDM & Jack Carman, FASLA, RLA - Who doesn't enjoy a meal outside on a nice day? Think of all the good times you’ve had sitting around a table on the patio with friends, enjoying a glass of wine and a great meal. Maybe it’s a cook-out for a birthday or other special family event. Or maybe it’s for no special reason - just a nice evening listening to the birds and watching the sun set. That shouldn’t change just because someone is living in a senior community.

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Food & Finish - Creating Culinary Environments for Life Plan Communities


By J.D. Landis, NCDIQ, IIDA, ASID, IES - Goals of the Dining Environment: When creating or re-creating a culinary environment within any Life Plan Community there are many “recipes” for success with multiple challenges confronted by the owner and design team. Culinary arts have become more sophisticated in the senior living market. Communities not only compete with each other, but also venues outside of their campuses.

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In the News

In Memoriam: Dr. Robert Mayer

It's with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of our dear friend and avid support, Dr. Robert Mayer of the Rothschild Foundation. He was best known for being a thought leader in terms of eldercare reform and venture philanthropy, a consummate negotiator, a passionate collector, an inveterate traveler and seeker of adventure, and for his limitless love and dedication to his family.

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Dr. Robert Mayer

Design for Aging Review, 13th Edition Award Recipients

Design for Aging Review at LeadingAge

Photo credit: Bob Lagoyda, LeadingAge

The Design for Aging Review program, a joint effort of the AIA and LeadingAge, includes a juried exhibition, a companion book, and education programs. The program encompasses a broad view of facilities designed for senior citizens, including nursing homes, dementia care, assisted living, and continuing care retirement communities.

Congratulations to this year's 29 recipients who were honored at LeadingAge! Look for the print publication to be released in Fall 2016.

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Design for Aging Review 10-Year Award

In addition to the Design for Aging Review Awards, there is also a special 10-Year Award that celebrates the lasting influence of outstanding aged-care design, and an enhanced Insights and Innovations chapter. It was initiated in 2007 with the following criteria: 

  • Projects must be completed and open for more than ten years 
  • Recognized as innovative and well-designed at time of initial completion 
  • Have withstood the test of time 
  • Lessons Learned relevant to today’s changed marketplace & consumer expectations

Two projects, Sun City Kanagawa and Sun City Park Yokohama, were the recipients of this award and were honored at the LeadingAge conference this year in Boston.

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Cohen/Weisman Award & Presentation at LeadingAge

Cohen/Weisman Award Presentation

Photo credit: Bob Lagoyda, LeadingAge

There are arguably fewer individuals who have had more influence on the research-based advancement of older adult environments which enhance the resident quality of life than Uriel Cohen and Gerald Weisman. That influence has not only had direct effect on numerous state-of-the-art facilities, but, through their mentoring, teaching and lecturing endeavors, a huge indirect effect brought about from the graduates of their University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Institute on Aging and Environment and countless individuals with whom they have shared their knowledge.

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Upcoming Events

Environments for Aging (EFA) Expo & Conference: Registration Now Open

April 9 - 12, 2016 | Austin Convention Center | Austin, TX

The Environments for Aging Expo & Conference offers the latest strategies and ideas for creating functional and attractive living environments that meet the needs of our aging population. During this comprehensive three-day learning experience, attendees will network with peers while learning the latest innovations and best practices in the design of long-term and residential care settings. Don't miss this opportunity to gain inspiration through a gathering of like-minded, forward-thinking individuals instrumental in the creation of future living environments for the aging.

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2015 State of the Art of Person-Centered Care Benchmarking Survey

It's been almost a decade since the last national survey explored how care communities are moving away from more traditional systems of care and adopting individualized care practices. Whether it's a change in how meals are served, daily routines, or an enhanced physical environment, the momentum for change is growing.

We are only asking for about 30 minutes of your time! Please tell us what you have been doing in this arena. Nursing homes that offer short and/or long term care and assisted living communities are invited to participate in the 2015 State of the Art of Person-Centered Care Benchmark Study.  We are looking to recruit more than 2000 care communities, so we need your help!

Complete the Survey

Did you know anyone can join AIA Design for Aging Knowledge Community for FREE? Sign-up on AIA KnowledgeNet and start a discussion in the Design for Aging Discussion Forum.

AIA/DFA Advisory Group Members: Vicki Nelson, AIA, ACHA & Dennis Cope, AIA (2015 Co-Chairs); Dodd Kattman, AIA; Betsie Sassen, RN; Alexis Denton, AIA; Tim Mueller, AIA; Martin Siefering, AIA & Quinn deMenna, AIA

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