St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors Brooking Park is a part of an upscale senior living community in St. Louis. It provides short-term rehabilitation, assisted living, and long-term skilled nursing. St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors’ goal is to provide cutting-edge, holistic programs and services that are quality driven, cost-efficient, and focused on resident-centered care. 

The facility wanted to renovate an existing RCF I wing into a full Memory Support Neighborhood.  The outcome was to be a home-like setting in a contemporary, welcoming atmosphere.  It would be a pleasing experience to the current residents yet also provide a style that the next generation would appreciate equally. A concept was developed to improve patient-centered care and impress the residents and families who would visit. 

Design Extra (St. Louis) and The Lawrence Group (St. Louis), an interior design studio and architecture firm, respectively, created an 18-room neighborhood complete with a public living room and private and semi-private suites with 24-hour security and wander-alert system. The multi-purpose dining room provides a comfortable space for spiritual, social, and recreational activities. The kitchen incorporates chef-prepared meals as well as interactive domestic tasks for the residents.  

The selection of products and design solutions was driven by the residents’ needs.  Flooring is one of the most important decisions for Memory Support residents: Anything too dark wouldn’t be inviting and may create the illusion of stepping into a hole; anything too busy might cause a fall. A soft blue, non-directional, small-print carpet was one of the first selections. The carpet has a moisture barrier backing to add to its longevity.  A medium-toned wood was used in the dining room and living room for a home-like feel.

To complement the previously renovated spaces in the existing facility, a fresh green and sky blue with a pop of apricot define the neighborhood. To differentiate resident rooms, each room is painted with an accent wall color selected by the resident and his/her family.

A residential living room features a fireplace focal point. The flatscreen television was positioned low to allow for viewing without neck strain. Lounge chairs have high backs for comfort; shallow, firm seats with arms ease the process of getting in and out of the chair. Rocking chairs encourage a comforting activity that also strengthens legs.

The design team worked with the Alzheimer’s Association to discuss current designs and address evidence-based information to create the best outcome.  The team incorporated a Snoezelen-inspired sensory room that includes tactile objects, aromatherapy, music, and mobiles in a soothing palette.