Why the wellbeing of carers should be integral to any healthcare organisation’s furniture decisions.


Valuing the people who care when choosing healthcare furniture


There are many factors to consider when choosing furniture for healthcare facilities and aged care homes. How will the furniture fit in with the décor? Will it be comfortable for residents? Are the pieces durable and designed to last the test of time?

However, an integral element must be considered – will the furniture make the carer’s job easier? With reports of a mass exodus of aged care staff in coming years being reported, the wellbeing and retention of carers should be critical to any healthcare organisation’s furniture decisions.


Caring for our carers


One of the key observations from The Royal Commission into Aged Care was that providers hadn’t prioritised the aged care workforce.

“As a group, providers have not sufficiently valued nor invested in the aged care workforce,” the commissioners wrote.

As a result, it’s feared the aged care industry will face a serious shortage of workers in the coming years. Surveys have found that two-thirds of Australia’s current workforce say they’re unlikely to be still working in aged care in five years’ time.

There are many ways we can better look after our carers; however, at the core of planning is considering the wellbeing of staff in every decision we make. When designing healthcare and aged care interiors, furniture choices shouldn’t be an afterthought. Here are some key examples of how fit-for-purpose furniture design can improve the wellbeing of staff in healthcare and aged care facilities.

1. Cleanliness


We’re living in a global pandemic – we all know the importance of infection prevention. However, it’s also important that we consider the ease of cleanliness in furniture design.

  • Is the material non-porous so staff can use a disinfectant to wipe it down?

  • Are there hidden cracks and crevices in the arm or legs which can make it harder to clean?

  • Is there a clean-out gap between the seat and back so liquids can’t pool and become trapped?

When these things aren’t considered, cleaning takes longer, which takes away from the care they can give their patients or residents.

2. Innovative chair design and superior manufacturing


The ergonomics of furniture are crucial for the person sitting in them. However, it’s also important that the ergonomics of the staff member is considered.

For example, the Nourish Patient Chair helps caregivers facilitate the safe patient transfer. There are adjustable legs and casters on the back, and the arms can move to allow for horizontal movement in and out of the chair.

It’s also important that furniture can withstand being moved around by staff members day after day, with intelligent designs that stand the test of time. Chairs such as the versatile PrimaCare™ HT, have been designed and tested for high traffic applications, with a lifetime warranty, giving no doubt to their durability.

3. Break and staff rooms


Of course, staff need some respite during their shift, so it’s crucial to ensure that the space is as relaxing as possible. Furniture choices matter, which is why sitting on a comfortable lounge such as the SANCAL Boomerang Chill Lounge Chair with accompanying ottoman is an ideal way for busy staff to recharge.

It's also important to consider comfort and safety in administration staff areas. Office chairs such as the NIGHTINGALE CXO Office Chair, labelled the most comfortable chair in the world, will ensure paperwork is as least painful as possible.


Furniture for health


When deciding about healthcare furniture, it’s important that you choose the right supplier. KE-ZU’s designs deliver clinical performance with high-grade fabrics that stand up to both the strictest Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) protocols and long-term, all-day use.