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Designers Are Rethinking Senior Living—With a Focus on Wellness

Heidi Wang, LEED AP and partner at WJW Architects, began her career in architecture just as her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. “I saw his struggles and how his environment really had an impact on his well-being,” she says. That led her to dedicate her work to finding innovative ways of improving people’s lives—especially, she says, those most vulnerable. And in the wake of the pandemic, that ethos of wellness and intention has become more important than ever.

“As most of us know, the senior living space has been particularly negatively affected by the pandemic,” Wang says. “The health and overall well-being of our senior-living residents has always been something we’re continuously working to improve, and COVID-19 only increased that focus. Though we have continued to design for the long term, not for one moment, we know that safety and health are now top of mind for everyone who is a part of senior living communities, whether they are residents, family members, or employees. People want to know their loved ones have the utmost safety, and that everything possible is being done to counteract the effects of prolonged social isolation.”

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