Mr Haghnia studied bachelor of architecture at Shiraz University and received his master’s degree in interior architecture from University of Art (Tehran), doing research on environmental psychology and Iranian nursing homes for his thesis. He is currently conducting a PhD research in architecture at The University of Auckland, focusing on critical analysis of residential care environments in Iran. His research concentrates on the impacts of macro-scale factors including social, economic, and aged-care policies on spatial organisation of these environments.
COVID-19 outbreaks among the elderly in the U.S. nursing homes: An architectural approach
Saeed Haghnia, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on older people in nursing homes, many of whom are among the most vulnerable members of society. This impact is most evident in countries such as Sweden, Belgium, and the U.S.
This paper explores the role that architecture plays in outbreaks of the coronavirus in nursing homes. As a backdrop rapid population ageing globally calls for alternation of long-term care models, including nursing homes, and a vital subject to study.
Many older people are unable in their later years to remain in their home. Nursing homes is one aspect of the long-term care models, that initially emerged by adapting hospitals to follow a care model they offered while also using spatial organization to create an environment for maintaining the elderly health. Nursing homes in the United States have been providing permanent care and medical support to older people for decades yet this model has been criticized for its failure to address what it promised, including maintaining the elderly health, which becomes more evident in severe health conditions such as the recent Covid-19 pandemic
This paper first presents a brief history of the emergence of nursing homes in the United States and then examines the relationship between architecture of these buildings and the Covid-19 outbreaks in nursing homes in the U.S., and discusses how spatial organization of nursing homes can cause outbreaks and worsen them.