This page describes the consulting services we offer and provides links to some of our recent long term care projects.
Developing a new program, remodeling an existing unit or building a new
facility are all complex ventures that require extensive efforts by a
multi-disciplinary team to achieve positive results. It is the belief
of I.D.E.A.S., Inc. that projects should incorporate the input from the
multiple users of the setting, including staff and where possible, residents.
I.D.E.A.S., Inc. also strongly suggests projects always begin by examining
the underlying philosophy and goals that are driving the project. Having
a clear destination in mind makes it easier to get there. It is important
to know where you are going before you start going. Below are descriptions
of several points in the development and design process where I.D.E.A.S.,
Inc. has specific expertise. Each describes the scope of services typically
covered, and suggests “ideal” time allocations, although there is a great
deal of flexibility for tailoring the work to specific project needs.
It should also be stressed that this should be viewed as a cafeteria-type
plan, where clients can pick and choose the services that meet their needs.
Preparing to Develop a New Program that Incorporates the Physical Environment
We often start with an introduction and exploration of the concept of
the physical environment as a therapeutic resource. This typically involves
4-16 hours and includes facility staff, residents and board members (if
available) as well as key design staff (architecture and interiors). An
overview to key therapeutic goals in a way which links programmatic and
functional concerns for the residents with the physical environment provides
the foundation for developing functional and architectural programs that
clearly define the scope of the project. Various different models of care,
and the operational implications of each are also reviewed at this time.
an example of this is our work at the Wealshire
in Chicago, IL.
Evaluating the Current Program and Building
In design and renovation projects, it is essential to gain a clear understanding
of how well the existing facility (assuming there is one) is working,
to identify problems, examine successful building characteristics and
explore potentially desirable features. Such evaluation efforts may range
from a relatively brief facility walk-through with a few staff to a more
detailed process which includes interviews and systematic observation
of on-going patterns of behaviors in selected areas of the facility (8-40
hours). An example of this is our work at Hennis
Care Center in Dover, OH.
Functional and Operational Programming Design Report
Successful projects begin with a clearly defined functional/operational
program that articulates the philosophies, therapeutic goals and models
of care for the project. At this point, the needs and abilities of the
residents and their expected or desired daily routines are defined and
related to staffing models (ratios and areas of responsibility), and options
for various service delivery systems are explored. Staff training needs
are also identified in this phase. This document serves as the foundation
for an architectural program (20-60 hours). An example of this is our
work at Ohio Eastern Star
in Mt. Vernon, OH.
Architectural Programming for the New or Remodeled Building
Once a detailed functional/operational program is developed, the architectural
programming process defines the range of spaces necessary to the project.
Each space is defined not only in terms of size and basic support system
needs (electrical and plumbing), but also in terms of the character of
the space, and how it is intended to be used. Indeed, it is these latter
characteristics that should determine room size and adjacencies. I.D.E.A.S.,
Inc. involvement in programming can vary from periodic review of a programming
document developed by the designers (6-8 hours) to a more active role
in working with the client to develop the functional program (24-40 hours).
An example of this is our work at Meriter
Retirement Community in Madison, WI.
Physical Environment Design Review
Once schematic designs are underway, periodic review of the plans provides
a check-point for insuring that the therapeutic goals of the project are
being met through the design. Each review takes between 3 and 5 hours,
depending on the stage of completeness of the plans and the clarity of
the programming documents. At least three reviews are recommended. A detailed
review of final design, prior to developing construction documents, is
also recommended, and typically takes 5-15 hours. An example of this is
our work at Leonard
and Madlyn Abramson Center for Jewish Life in Philadelphia, PA.
Management and Caregiver Staff Training
Knowledgeable and skilled caregivers are likely the most critical component
to a successful, supportive care setting. Staff training should be linked
with the therapeutic goals of the project to insure that the residents
are receiving the desired care services. The services, and consequently
the amount of time needed, for this phase of the process can vary widely,
depending on existing staff knowledge and resources. Some facilities request
simple directives to other available training resources, while others
request a complete training package tailored to the facility’s needs.
An example of this is our work at Friendship
Village in Dublin, OH.
Planning Successful Long Term Care Interiors
Interior designers play a major role in the design process, as they are
responsible for much of what clients and visitors “see” in the building.
For long-term success, the interiors need to meet the needs of the residents’
decreased sensory receptivity, the needs of staff and families, as well
as meeting the functional requirements of the maintenance department.
Ideally, the interior designer is selected and brought into the process
early in the project. This insures that they understand the goals of the
project, and increases the likelihood that the interior design is both
aesthetic and functional. Time needed for interiors varies considerably,
depending on several factors (when the interior designers were involved
in the project, their previous experience with and knowledge about elderly,
etc.). We typically allocate between 8 and 20 hours. An example of this
is our work at Ohio Eastern
Star in Mt. Vernon, OH.
Post-Occupancy Evaluation of the New Building
While this is commonly not discussed in the early stages of a project, planning for a post-occupancy evaluation provides important feedback to both the client and the designers. Matching the reality of an operating facility against the therapeutic goals and functional program helps to identify potential problem areas. Early detection of emerging problems can lead to the development of more effective strategies for their resolution. Again, the amount of time varies considerably, but ranges from 6 to 60 hours. An example of this is our work at Creekview in Oshkosh, WI.