COVID-19 Response: Compare/Contrast/Borrow from Other Industries


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July 29, 2020



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The response to COVID-19 has been varied and will have long term effects on every industry. By looking at how other industries have responded, designers and operators in the Senior Living and Care space can gain insights and validate their our solutions to the pandemic. The presentation will look at Retail, Restaurants, Housing, Workplace, Healthcare, Education and Hospitality Design while tying ideas back to Senior Living and Care operations and design.

What should we learn from the actions taken in other industries? How can we relate each sectors response back to Senior Living and Care?

We are witnessing a paradigm shift across industries. Restaurants are focusing on to go orders and outdoor seating. Retail shops are trying everything from online orders with curbside pickup, to FaceTime shopping and appointment only shopping experiences. Real estate has pivoted its tour and sales method, not to mention a huge shift of people working from and prioritizing different spaces in their home. Completely open offices and shared bench workstations are being divided up with multiple solutions around returning to the office. Hospitals and outpatient centers have shifted their scheduling to eliminate waiting and changed other policies to keep staff and patients safe. Schools are currently all remote, each with their own plan on how to return in the fall.

The hospitality and travel industries have been turned on their head, with guests focusing on local experiences for the foreseeable future. Every one of these example industries has some place in Senior Living and Care. Dining rooms will borrow ideas from restaurants, activity spaces will learn from retail and offices. We will also see a shift in the priorities of new buildings and additions, in terms of housing and common spaces. Construction will prioritize outdoor spaces, isolation wings, and technological solutions to the pandemic. Senior living communities and environments are seeking greater flexibility of dedicated spaces to serve for alternative purposing for Staff, Visitors, Amenities, Differential Programming, and Activities.

The changes and responses happening now in Restaurants, Workplace, Hospitality, Retail, Education, and Healthcare, will be reflected in the needs of residents, staff, and family members for Senior Environments. Looking at trends and research from these industries, we are observing spaces that accommodate emerging patterns of use that address the global pandemic.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how the COVID-19 responses of Retail, Restaurants, Housing, Workplace, Healthcare, Education and Hospitality Design relate to Senior Living and Care.
  • Understand how these industries have created spaces that promote physical, emotional, and social well-being – allowing them to continue their business, while maximizing safety through technology, design, and policy.
  • Learn how changing living, work, and play environments influence the Universal Design of future spaces and expectations of occupants. What we see as the legacy of the changes made during this pandemic.
  • Understand how ventilation and filtration, cleaning and disinfecting, and space requirements have been implemented for the health and safety of staff, students, guests, and customers in these environments and see which are appropriate for Senior Environments.

Presented by:

Keith Bradley, Assoc. AIA

Designer, Director of Marketing

LWDA Design