Guide to Designing Old Age Homes

Design Procedure for the Old Age Homes

But before we start with discussing our design consideration factors, it is very important to know what an Old Age Home is like and what is its purpose of construction…

Old Age Home at Chandigarh
Old Age Home at Chandigarh

One important thing to be kept in mind before initiating the design process is that, we should study the purpose of the construction and what they are like.

This will give us a clear idea of what we are actually suppose to consider in the design…

Apart from literature case studies, Live case studies are also very important…

In my previous articles, we have discussed eleven factors to be considered for a successful case study

Old Age Homes

Old age homes are meant for senior citizens who suffer with a problem in staying with their children at home or are destitute. These homes are for older people who have nowhere to go and no one to depend on… These homes create a friendly and family like atmosphere for the elderly people where they can share their joys and sorrows and live happily. Old Age Homes are pretty developed in United States, United Kingdom and there is recent development seen in the construction of Old Age Homes in India.

These old age homes have special medical facilities for senior citizens such as mobile health care systems, ambulances, nurses and provision of well-balanced meals. So basically, it is a housing project for senior citizens of that country.

Old Age Homes have two main categories:

  1. Homes providing free Accomodation
  2. Homes working on a payment basis

Apart from food, shelter and medical amenities, old age homes also provide yoga classes to senior citizens. Old age homes also provide access to telephones and other forms of communication so that residents may keep in touch with their loved ones. Some old age homes have day care centres. These centres only take care of senior citizens during the day.

Location of Old Age Homes

  • Studying the location of the structure is the most important factor. This will help us determine the climatic conditions of the place. Orientation of a building with respect to climatic conditions of the place.
  • Location of an Old Age Home is of prime importance.
  • It could be a part of the urban setting or it could be in a rural area. It depends on the kind of people that are going to stay in it.
  • Some people prefer idyllic areas while some would like to live in close proximity to the quick facilities of the city.
  • An Old Age Home should be preferably located in a calm, pollution free environment with all the basic necessities that are required for any comfortable housing project.

Design Concept for Old Age Homes

  • Design of Old Age Homes depends on the social and economic status of the people who are going to reside in the homes.
  • They could be the dormitary type, independent rooms or cottages…
  • The rooms should be well-ventilated.
  • Designing a ground Floor in an Old Age Home is of utmost importance. Possibly all the basic facilities in the home should be provided on the ground floor. If this is not possible and if upper floors have to be built then a sloping ramp has to be provided for facilitating easy passage of wheel chair and make movement of people with crutches easier.
  • The toilets and bathrooms should have rough flooring so that the elders do not slip. Suitable railings should be provided for support.
  • Recreation rooms and rooms for medical care should be built.

Working Staff in the Old Age Homes

  • An administrator is must for the homes of the aged who will be responsible for the running of the home.
  • Supporting staff such as clerks, cashier cum accountant, nursing staff, attenders, maids and a cook are the basic required staff for the efficient running of a old age home.
Helpers at Old Age Homes
Helpers at Old Age Homes
  • A medical officer will be needed to attend to the health needs of the inmates. If the home is very close to a hospital where emergencies can be treated then, it may be enough to avail the services of a Doctor, who works there part-time.
  • A nutritionist can play an important role by providing special attention to the nutritional requirements of the residents. At least a part-time nutritionist should be appointed.
  • A professionally qualified social worker is an essential member of the team of personnel.
  • Wherever possible nursing staff and health care workers trained in Geriatric care should be appointed.
  • There is a need for helpers in the Old Age Homes who will take care of the Old people and help them move around…
  • After figuring out the staff requirements for the Old Age Homes, we can determine the amount of space required for their offices and construction of quarters where they can stay while on job.

Medical Care Facilities in Old Age Homes

There should be a sterile store room where all medicines and medical accessories that may be needed for treatment of the residents are to stored as per the advice of a general physician.

Medical care facility in Old Age Homes
Medical care facility in Old Age Homes
  • There are certain instruments that are necessary for the medical treatment such as Oxygen cylinders, suction apparatus and intra-venous sets should be readily available. Drugs should be replaced periodically, considering their expiry date.
  • Transport facilities such as ambulances or any other vehicle that is similarly equipped as an ambulance should be available in case there is a need to rush them to the hospital for intensive care.

Recreational Facilities in an Old Age Home

  • Provision of recreational facilities is must. Old people also need entertainment so that their mind does not remain idle. This will help their life become lively and happy and keep them away from any kind of depressing thoughts.
  • Facilities such as small reading area, televisions, video players, newspapers and books should be provided.
Sports in Old age Homes
Sports in Old age Homes
  • Not all old people like sedentary lifestyle…Depending on the extent of the physical activity of the residents other facilities for active sports such as: tennis, table tennis, squash can be provided.
  • A small computer room could be provided for accessing the internet which is a must in today‚Äôs world. That will keep the residents mentally active and aware of the world outside…

From our discussion we can conclude some of the most important and basic Requirements in an Old Age Home

  • Common Rooms
  • Single and Double Bedrooms
  • Pantry in every Bedroom
  • Main Kitchen
  • Dining Area
  • Television Area
  • Reading room
  • Praying room
  • Computer room
  • Offices for the staff
  • Common Toilets
  • Sports Facilities for Tennis, Badminton etc.
  • A Landscaped Garden with a jogging track

A lot of emphasis is being given on the design of Old age homes in the west especially in the UK. The importance of old age homes design has increased with the increase in the number of homes across the world.

35 thoughts on “Guide to Designing Old Age Homes”

  1. Hello, It’s been nice to see regarding Old age homes, could you help any aspect related to Retirement Resorts- free independent houses for retired people

  2. Hi,
    Can you/anyone tell us that where can we approach for funds for establishing an Old age Home in our city i.e Haldwani (Uttrakhand). We are working for old aged people since last four years. 63 old aged people have registered them with us. We are providing them day care facilitiestill date. One can go to FACEBOOK/HarishDhondiyal(Photos) to see some of our works done. Photographs are self speaking. We have Pan card, 12A certificate and 80G certificate of Income tax department with us with three years Audit reports and Annual reports. We have 4000 sq ft of land in the heart of the city with map/plan already prepared for it(OAH). But due to paucity of funds we are unable to do so till now. We approached to many but failed in sanctioning the amount. If anybody can help or guide, pls write a line to Secretary- Hem Memorial Society on Will ever remain thankful and grateful for the same.We want to establish an Old Age Home for 25 people in first phase.

  3. We wish to estabilish an old age home in our own building fo around 25 to 30 people.
    What are the govt. formalities required for it as we are doing it for the first time. We are not a registered trust or society but we want to help the old age people by donating our building and primary donation fund of around Rs. 5 to 10 lakhs.
    Please help.

  4. Want to establish a mega old home project at Darjeeling Plain, international standard for multicultured people for joy happiness and liberate.
    Need your consultancy and advice.
    I am a Civil and Structural Engineer, M.I.E, F.I.V, AMASCE (USA)

    • Hello Shreegouri,

      You will have to work on it yourself. I would advise you to get landuse maps of your city and study the scope of your proposal in different areas. Only after you can justify why your proposed building will serve the area in a positive way that you claim it will, your site selection process will be complete.

      And also we are open to discussions. You can discuss how things come along with your thesis project.
      We look forward to hearing from you.

  5. helo ,
    i want to know suitable old age homes required for case study for my thysis project . site area of my project os 2.91 acres and also help me in suggesting the number of people which would be fine for my site area.


  6. The idea of old peoples’ homes in Ghana has not catch up with us in Africa in general and Ghana in particular. This is basically because of our cultural setting where families take care of the elderly at home. Things are changing very fast now because of urbanization where the younger generation leaves the elderly at home to ‘fend’ for themselves. Moreover there are several elder generation who had live outside in Europe and America and would like to settle at home.
    There is therefore the potential for the development of these kind of homes in Ghana. Our organization has acquired large tract of land at water front which can be developed and are hereby seeking for financial support in this endeavor.


  8. Respected Sir,
    I want to open old age home in Maharashtra (India)
    So which things are required to open the old age home. How much investment needed in concern home

  9. Dear Sir.


    We wish to open a old age home in our village near Thanjavur District, Tamil nadu. Please send guidelines for the building design. Sairam. Moorthy

      • I’m also architecture student and even my topic is same for thesis so i want to know that did u got any info abt it n where did u do ur case study?
        plz share some info and ur experience about ur case study and other aspects.

  10. P. Gurumoorthy :
    Dear Sir.
    We wish to open a old age home in our village near Thanjavur District, Tamil nadu. Please send guidelines for the building design. Sairam. Moorthy

    i am going to start a old age home near malavalli, karnataka,if somebody is interested in joinining hands with me, they are welcome,some enterprenaur with ideas matching,

    • Dear Venkat Ram

      I run a paid architectural design service. Let me know if you would like to get it designed by us… I shall send you all the details of our establishment. This initiative is for a good cause and I would be delighted to be a part of it.

  11. sir, I want to start senior citizen/old age home near Dehradun for about hundred couples initially. How much expenditure should we expect. Also the ideal building design for the same.

  12. In Bangladesh this is just start, as a social instability
    high demand in the old age level.
    I would like to request, if sent me the building design and others for 100 person and other facilities, will be highly appreciate for me.
    with regards

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