A NATURE SPACE FOR WELLNESS: OUTDOOR DESIGN FOR THE VILLA ROSA NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER
Sachs, Naomi A.
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Compared with other age groups, seniors are more physically vulnerable and more likely to experience feelings such as boredom, helplessness, and loneliness (Cooper Marcus & Sachs, 2014). Living in long-term care facilities such as assisted living and nursing homes may worsen the situation, leading to feelings of dehumanization, fear, discomfort, and under-stimulation (Dahlkvist et al., 2016; Verderber & Fine, 2000). Well-designed outdoor spaces that encourage interaction with nature benefit senior residents both psychologically and physically, promoting rehabilitation and making their lives more enjoyable. Currently, residents at the Villa Rosa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Prince George’s County, Maryland, lack suitable environments for outdoor activities. In this thesis, the back courtyard and the front entrance are redesigned to maximize nature’s healing restorative effects for the residents, accommodating seniors’ particular needs and increasing the usability of both sites.