When it comes to selecting color palettes for Senior Living communities, the hues you choose can impact the feeling of the room, and in turn, how residents and staff feel about the space. Colors can evoke feelings of peace, excitement and can even encourage our appetites! Here are a few tips for using color in Senior Living:
It’s all about balance
From creating peaceful retreats to designing invigorating spaces, the key to achieving the desired feel is choosing the right color intensity. While softer blues and greens are used to create a calm, tranquil environment, blue can also be an intense, exciting color – a loud turquoise or teal is much different from a soft cornflower blue. High-intensity colors will create more excitement, and are great for lobbies or activity spaces.
Loud reds, yellows and oranges aren’t commonly used for relaxed environments, but what about softer shades of pink or coral? While a pink-infused space might not be a popular choice, soft pink accents can have the same calming effect as earthy tones. The color’s feel can change dramatically based on the intensity you choose.
Consider the space
When deciding whether a calm shade of pink is more appropriate than a loud red, consider the function of the room. Reds, oranges and yellows all encourage our appetites, which can help promote proper nutrition. Brighter shades of blue might be appropriate for an energizing rehabilitation gym, while softer yellows or greens would work well in a relaxing sunroom.
Colors have the power to change the mood of the room, as well as change how we perceive other elements in the space. Blues aren’t commonly found in dining rooms because they can cast a strange hue onto food, making it look unappealing or bruised. Earthy greens, on the other hand, make dining rooms feel life-giving and invigorating.
Contrast is key
As the eyes age, it becomes more difficult to distinguish between objects in a room. Help differentiate between major pieces of furniture, walls, drapes and floors with clear color contrast. This approach is also helpful for different pieces of bedding.
Blue and green tones are particularly difficult for aging eyes to distinguish. Consider using warm reds and golds, which are much easier to see.
Color in Memory Care
Colors are especially important in Memory Care environments. For residents with dementia, dark colors may appear as a hole or missing space. Consider using darker shades purposefully when creating a walking path or an area that residents should avoid.
Color intensity is also an important factor in Memory Care. Refrain from intense colors, and keep in mind the vibration and saturation of the color or fabric you’re selecting. Flooring or patterns with high contrast can play tricks on the eyes, appear as though they’re moving or may make some residents feel dizzy. Residents with dementia may even believe something is coming out of the floor and be afraid to walk there. Solid colors in softer shades are typically more appropriate for Memory Care environments.