The benefits of using the right furniture for a group home or group living facility are many. From comfort of the consumer to ease of use for staff to creating the feeling of home that reassures consumers’ families – the right furniture makes a difference. When selecting furniture for group homes and other heavy use environments, how do you know what is “right” for your facility?
Having had the privilege of having talked to hundreds of group home staff and administrators, we have compiled a list of THE 9 PIECES OF FURNITURE that GROUP HOMES STAFF CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT:
- Wood Framed Sofa, Loveseat and Lounge Chairs. Frequently called Crate-Style or Tough Stuff furniture, seating pieces with exposed wood frames and replaceable cushions offers durability that stands up to heavy use. Even for consumers with behavioral outbursts this style of furniture maintains its rugged, durable functionality.
- Replaceable Cushions. Again, Crate-Style or Tough Stuff Furniture (see above) has easily replaceable cushions that can be changed out due to wear or to keep up with fashion trends. Replacing cushions is an inexpensive way to keep frequently used seating pieces fresh and looking good.
- Wood Dressers and Night Stands with Routed Pulls. Furniture hardware can dress up furniture but can add hazard and frustration. For consumers with limited fine motor skills, routed pulls offer easier opening of drawers and doors. Additionally, routed pulls eliminate many of the self-harm hazards that external hardware may present.
- Fluid-Proof Mattresses. Nylon or soft, pliable vinyl mattress covers offer great protection from spilled drinks. Even occasional incontinence can be effectively managed with fluid-resistant or fluid-proof mattresses.
- One Piece Molded Chairs. One-piece molded chairs are lightweight but highly durably for consumers of any size or shape. Rated for static weight up to 1200 lb., one-piece molded chairs can take the most extreme use without chipping or breaking. For more difficult consumers options to bolt to the floor or weight with sand offer a high degree of security and safety.
- Adjustable Height Tables. Adjustable height tables offer the most inclusive surfaces for activities or dining. The ability to adjust the height makes these tables the right solution for consumers in wheelchairs or who require the aid of other mobility devices that are not easily accommodated by traditional tables. A table that adjusts from 28” – 34” will offer the most flexibility for group homes or group living facilities.
- Motion Seating. Motion offers comfort to consumers with developmental disabilities. Rocking or gliding is calming and reassures anxious individuals. Selecting a contract-grade motion chair is important since retail-grade rockers, gliders and recliners are not designed for the type of constant and repetitive use typical in group living environments.
- Outdoor Tables. Fresh air and sunshine are great enhancements to all consumers so why not make the most of the space outside? Outdoor wood or plastic coated metal tables and benches are great for dining or activities. ADA Compliant tables have benched and benchless sides to allow people of any mobility to enjoy some time in nature.
- Storage and Bookcase Beds. Often consumers who are full-time residents need more storage space then a typical group home bedroom allows. Storage beds make efficient use of available space by adding storage drawers and bookcase shelving to beds. Shelves allow consumers and staff easy access to favorite books and personal items. Under bed storage is a perfect solution for seasonal clothes and other non-daily necessities.
When planning new furniture for your group living facility always choose a furniture provider who understands the needs of your consumers and has offering that will be durable and appropriate.