A recent study explored a trend in skilled nursing: public cafés on the premises. The idea is that adding a hub of activity for the general public would offer the community’s residents new social opportunities and opportunities for engagement. These cafés offer an open space for residents, family members, and community members to explore while enjoying food and drinks. Such cafés are an example of how a residence can promote the ideals of person-centered care by providing residents both additional choices and spaces that facilitate resident interaction.
The study was done in a large skilled nursing residence that had four major units to it: a dining area, lounge areas, nurses’ stations, and residential areas. During renovation, a public café was placed in the foyer of the facility, which included three distinct areas: indoor tables, couches by a fireplace, and an outdoor courtyard. Although the café is open to the general public, only residents have the privilege of hosting larger events there.
Researchers were able to conduct interviews in the new café with willing residents. The interviews indicated that residents viewed the café as a “warm and friendly atmosphere,” and it increased social networks within senior living and in the community. This café also changed the culture on food by introducing 24-hour dining service, allowing residents to choose what and when to eat.