Architecture for Care, environments that improve the health of patients, staff, and nature

Author(s): Alvaro Valera Sosa

Among the general population, a great amount of people is hindered to live independently without difficulties. This group requires individual or communal home care to support daily activities such as recreation, learning, cooking & eating, hygiene, sleep, recreation, and routine therapy. The increasing shortage of staff especially in Europe calls for ways of alleviating caregivers from work overload and stress. Architecture for Care goes beyond ensuring safe and comfortable spaces to prevent further disability or injury. It is about enhancing built environments in ways for staff, patients and visitors to engage in a model of care around meaningfulness and purpose. It is about designing natural landscapes that improve local climate and restore biodiversity as a measure to battle chronic diseases effectively on top of ensuring psychological recovery. Lastly, it is a kind of architecture that integrates digital health solutions in its spaces and mechanisms of care delivery. This supportive strategy develops in comprehensive manner the following topics: (i) Multi-generational Care, (ii) Therapeutic Gardening, and (iii) Smart Designs for Quality of Life.