A Construction Journey in an Occupied Senior Living Community
March 13, 2023
What Can a Senior Living Community Expect During a Construction Project?
Prior to beginning a construction renovation project in an occupied senior living community, the general contractor should conduct a preconstruction meeting with community stakeholders leadership on site to outline upcoming project details and plan for how to minimize the impact on community staff and residents. This meeting is used to review the scope of work and any updates that may have occurred since the original plan was discussed as well as review project phasing and schedule.
It is critical to inform the community staff members so they are aware of where the areas of work will be in the community. It is important to get everyone's approval on the project schedule and phasing.
“We look at every project as a custom job. We take the residents into consideration, we take the staff into consideration, and we take the community’s calendar into consideration. We want to be able to accommodate the residents and the staff during the time period we’re going to be there so they can utilize their community in the best way that they can.” - Lucas McCurdy, The Bridge Group Construction Founder
Routine is crucial in senior living communities, and accommodating the daily routines of residents and staff allows the general contractor to better serve each community. Creating a construction plan to properly phase each project to work in individual areas for a certain amount of time creates efficiency and minimizes disruption to each senior living community. By properly phasing and accommodating the daily routines of residents and staff, the general contractor can better serve senior living communities.
Preconstruction meetings also serve as an opportunity to discuss community protocols. A senior living-focused GC will train its team members and sub contractors to adhere to each community’s local policies and procedures.
What Protocols Do Senior Living Focused General Contractors Have In Place?
The number one priority of the GC should be the safety of the residents. Construction companies implement safety screening procedures that align with industry standards and that of the community. Crews are conscious of work zones and focus on both cleanliness and safety.
- Resident safety
- Staff safety
- Detailed communication across team
Details matter when working in and around aging adults with frailties, cognitive decline and mobility challenges.
“At The Bridge Group Construction, we take into consideration that this is residents home and this is where they live. Residents need to be able to easily access the areas of their communities safely and securely.” - Lucas McCurdy, The Bridge Group Construction Founder
Appearance is important when working in occupied communities. Aside from looking more presentable than a typical construction site, crews need to wear branded attire and or high-visibility vests. It is necessary for residents and staff to know who is in the community and why they are there. By wearing proper attire, construction companies make themselves easily identifiable for residents and staff.
How Do Senior Living General Contractors Interact With Residents?
Over the years, the level of interaction crews have with residents has changed. Senior living focused construction companies are trained to interact with residents in a safe and comfortable way. Simple interactions such as “hello” and “good morning” greetings can make residents feel more comfortable with the crews working in their community.
“We welcome interaction with residents because we’re not strangers to being in their communities. We enjoy being a part of making a resident’s experience a good one while they’re living in a community and as least disruptive as possible during our time there for a construction project.” - Lucas McCurdy, The Bridge Group Construction Founder
Challenges of Reconstruction in an Occupied Senior Living Community
Working in an occupied community can present a number of challenges. Because residents are living in these communities, construction projects require more time, thought, planning and organization.
It is crucial to have a construction team familiar with senior living and the aging population to be able to tackle these important projects. Properly phasing and timing projects and naturally adhering to safety protocols during a construction project can make all the difference for community staff and residents. By understanding how senior living operations work, a senior living focused general contractor is able to work more seamlessly and minimize the impact to the community and its residents.
“Our mission is to positively impact the environment older adults living in. Senior living renovations in an occupied community is a process we enjoy, and for us reap the biggest reward..” - Lucas McCurdy, The Bridge Group Construction Founder
Why Construction In Senior Living?
There are many general contractors out there, but it is important to have a partner familiar with the industry you can depend on when renovating your occupied senior living community.
The Bridge Group Construction believes life is too short to not do something you’re passionate about, and they find passion by doing work in the senior living industry. The Bridge Group Construction loves hearing the stories, loves meeting the people, and loves to make a positive impact on the senior living industry which is why their moto is “Senior living is why we exist”.