Operations Best Practices

How the Environment Impacts Senior Living Residents, and what Operators can do to create a positive environment

August 24, 2023

Senior living communities play a vital role in providing care and support to older adults. Beyond essential care and social services, the environment within these communities can have a profound impact on the overall well-being and quality of life of residents. In recent years, scientific research has shed light on the importance of creating an environment that supports the physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being of older adults. In this blog post, we explore some of the ways that the environment within senior living communities can positively influence the lives of older adults, backed by scientific evidence.

Designing for Engagement and Social Interaction

A well-designed environment can promote social engagement and interaction among seniors, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. Studies show that senior living residents who have access to outdoor spaces, communal areas, and shared activities have higher levels of social interaction and reported improved mental well-being.

Therapeutic Environments for Health and Wellness

Creating therapeutic environments within senior living communities can contribute to the physical and emotional well-being of seniors. Studies have demonstrated that access to sensory gardens, music therapy rooms, and art spaces improved residents' sleep quality, reduced agitation, and promoted a sense of calm. Incorporating these elements can also enhance rehabilitation outcomes and pain management among older adults.

Personalization and Autonomy

Empowering seniors by enabling them to personalize their living spaces fosters a sense of autonomy and control. Studies have found that when seniors are given the opportunity to personalize their rooms with personal belongings, photographs, and cherished items, they experience increased satisfaction and a greater sense of identity, which positively impacts their overall well-being.

Technology for Connectivity and Engagement

Integrating technology in senior living communities can facilitate connectivity and engagement among older adults. Using a resident experience platform can help life enrichment teams foster a sense of connectivity and increase engagement. Through many of its features, Welbi encourages seniors to connect with their peers, facilitating conversations, sharing experiences, and building friendships. Welbi’s platform recognizes individual preferences and can suggest tailored activities, making senior living residents feel understood and valued within their community.

The environment within senior living communities plays a vital role in promoting the well-being and quality of life for residents. From the design of physical spaces to the integration of therapeutic elements and technology, a carefully crafted environment can significantly enhance the lives of older adults. Scientific research continues to provide valuable insights into how senior living communities can better serve the physical, emotional, and cognitive needs of older adults, ensuring they live their lives to the fullest.


1. Van Den Berg, A. E., Maas, J., Verheij, R. A., & Groenewegen, P. P. (2010). Green space as a buffer between stressful life events and health. Social science & medicine, 70(8), 1203-1210.
2. Day, K., Carreon, D., Stump, C., & Theimer, M. M. (2000).
The therapeutic design of environments for people with dementia: a review of the empirical research. The Gerontologist, 40(4), 397-416.
3. Cotten, S. R., Anderson, W. A., & McCullough, B. M. (2013).
Impact of internet use on loneliness and contact with others among older adults: cross-sectional analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(2), e39.

Katie Stewart

Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.

Holly Mathias

Holly is a member of Welbi’s Marketing team! She has a background in communications and marketing, and is a compassionate individual who loves team work, story telling, and wellness.

Wendy Riopelle

Wendy is a student in the Honours BA in English program at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.

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