Automatic doors are a mainstay of accessibility in many modern facilities, including senior care facilities. In fact, they present unique benefits to these facilities, including access control, wander management, touch-free operation and overall safety/security.
Automatic doors come in three types: sliding, swing and folding, and for resident rooms.
Sliding doors are what is generally thought of when someone mentions an automatic door. When triggered by sensors, these doors slide open from side to side. They are made to meet the constant influx and outflow senior care facilities face on a daily basis.
Then there are swing and folding doors. Swing doors are ADA-compliant for handicapped individuals and can be installed for new construction. Meanwhile, folding doors are a bit more versatile since they can be used in both large openings and narrow passageways.
Lastly are the resident room door systems. According to the American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM), these “are a versatile solution that facilitate user convenience for entry into their living quarters and reduce potential injury by eliminating the need to negotiate usage of a heavy manual door.”
There are a few benefits to each type, as stated above. What type of door a senior care facility will end up using will largely depend on what their specific needs are.
Assisted living facilities can make use of all three types, partially due to residents having some degree of independence. Since they are all automatic, they eliminate the need for residents trying to manually open a door, reducing the need for additional assistance. Sliding doors would be ideal for handicapped or disabled residents since they are ADA-compliant. The resident room door systems are also necessary for maintaining privacy and ease of access.
Another case would be for convalescent care, known for more frequent interaction between staff and residents. Automatic doors ease the process of bringing in medical equipment into a resident’s room. This is opposed to struggling to prop a manual door open while carting in equipment. Also, automatic doors can help with wandering management, which helps with residents who need to rest or may just be prone to wandering.
Then there is the case of hospice care, which can benefit from having resident room door systems since employees will be in and out of the room frequently. They also allow for easier access for medical equipment getting in and out. Even for privacy concerns, these doors close after being entered, thus ensuring a resident’s privacy.
Overall, there are benefits to automatic doors being used in senior care facilities mainly because they increase accessibility, convenience, safety/security and privacy. These are critical to not only senior care facility residents, but staff members as well. They provide a more streamlined experience for those in senior care.
Jeff Wardon, Jr. is the assistant editor for the facilities market.