The Environments for Aging Conference recently met at Disney in Anaheim, California. This event provides information on the latest practices and solutions in caring for our aging population. This comprehensive event allows attendees to network with their industry peers and learn more about the latest innovations in building, architecture and design for long-term care settings.
This year’s event included the introduction of many new vinyl products that provide superior quality and durability, important factors in healthcare settings. Displays included furniture, upholstery, flooring and carpet products.
Kwalu, a company known for its innovative uses of vinyl, showcased their new outdoor vinyl furniture line. Their seating, tables, and rockers are all made from extruded PVC. Outdoor spaces in senior living communities has become increasingly important as a way to relieve stress, enhance the occupant’s connection with nature, and improve quality of life. Kwalu’s new line of vinyl products can enhance these outdoor setting while offering superior durability and a long service life, fulfilling a gap in senior living product development.
In addition to exterior furniture, new designs for indoor seating, recliners and case goods were presented at the exhibit during the conference. All frames, legs, and tables are extruded vinyl, utilizing both Crypton© and vinyl upholsteries in the new product designs.
Game tables are also possible through the use of vinyl films to create checkerboards and other types of games boards that can be integrated into table tops. Such simple innovations fulfill not only an activity need, but also provide a durable, seamless edge. This is important for mobility devices coming into contact with the table and reconfiguring table layouts, while providing a surface that is easily cleaned for infection control.
Tandus Centiva introduced new vinyl flooring products that complement their vinyl backed carpet. These include a new luxury vinyl product with the look of stone and other flooring with a metallic appearance. The company is also broadening their product line to include vinyl wood plank flooring. Additional stone patterns have performance and durability qualities, providing subtle stone and wood finishes applicable to long term memory care facilities.
Lonseal introduced a new vinyl sheet flooring product that mimics the look of fabric and fulfills a new niche in the marketplace. Beautiful colors and patterns that are also designed for performance and can be combined with sheet vinyls that resemble wood for resident and patient rooms, corridors, public spaces, as well as being durable enough for high traffic service areas.
The senior living and long term care sector is one of the largest growing markets for design, building, and construction in the country. The pent-up demand created by the recession and the advent of the Affordable Care Act has compelled care providers to focus on re-positioning, re-developing and building new projects in the United States and around the world. The manufacturing sector has opportunities to develop new products that are needed within senior living to meet this demand. Compared with hospital products, senior living products need to blend clinical care and residential living, while maintaining the durability and building service life requirements for return on investment. This will remain a critically important market for vinyl products for the foreseeable future.