9 Pieces of Furniture That Group Home Staff Can’t Live Without.

Posted by Janet Voigt on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 @ 01:10 PM
  • 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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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Help Knowing What to Consider When Buying Furniture   Created on 12/06/11 at 15:29:27   Furniture Concepts Metal Furniture Catalog.

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Topics: durable furniture, Group Furniture Buying Advice, Behavioral Healthcare Furniture, group living furniture

The Secret of a Better Table

Posted by Janet Voigt on Wed, Apr 10, 2013 @ 01:04 PM

Tables serve an essential function in our lives. In our homes and our workplaces - tables are the place we share meals, organize paperwork, talk, listen, play games and maybe just put our feet up at the end of a long day.

When furnishing a heavy use group home or group living environment, selecting a table that will be multi-functional and hold up to the demands of a heavy use environment is not an easy task.

Nice looking tables are available around every corner from retail furniture stores to big box retailers.  You can easily grab a nice-looking dining table while picking up your weekly groceries and toilet paper, but what is that you get when you buy what’s convenient?  It is hard to tell so let’s start by looking at makes a “good table.”

A great table starts with a great base.

  • Solid wood is certainly a good option and the more wood supporting the table the better. 
  • Some group living facilities prefer the classic look of a table with four legs but column and trestle bases offer a little extra leg room and can be more accessible for wheelchairs. 
  • A good wood table base should use at least 2” thick solid wood.  Four-leg table models should have 2x2 or thicker leg posts with reinforced corner block construction to keep legs stable.
  • Wood trestle or column bases should have a substantial spreader assembly (preferably steel) that attaches the base to the table top to ensure stability.

High-strength steel or cast iron bases are the rock stars of table bases and will easily offer years and years of solid support. 

  • The gauge of the steel in a table base is important and heavy-wall tube steel is highly durable and a good standard to look for when shopping for tables.
  • Steel gauge is confusing topic since the lower the gauge the thicker the steel but as a good rule of thumb look for steel gauge of 16 or lower to ensure that the structure will really stand up to years of use.
  • If gauge information is not readily available then there is a good chance that the manufacturer is avoiding sharing the information because the base is not high quality.
  • The big box store products tend to look durable and solid but rarely stand the test of time in heavy use environments.

Table tops can be: Solid wood, wood with laminate or wood with veneer.  Metal tops are also available.

Wood or wood look tends to be the most popular options because finished wood and wood grains add visual warmth. 
  • Table tops should be at least 1” thick and up to 2” is an even better product.
  • Caution should be used when assessing the quality of a table top based on thickness because solid wood and wood particle cores can warp.  Manufacturers who understand quality production will ensure that tops are dried to 6-8% moisture. 
  • Wood and wood particle cores have some sort of water content due to the nature of wood and higher moisture content increases the likelihood of warping. A knowledgeable supplier should be able to explain the construction of the table tops they offer and help you compare the features and benefits of the different types.
Unlike chairs and upholstered furniture, tables really hold their style well for long periods of time and will be replaced less frequently than other pieces of furniture. So if you are selecting tables knowing that you and your staff will be looking at them for a long time make sure to take your time and select tables that will take the years of heavy use ahead of them.

Don’t fall victim to good-looking, quick fixes from big box department stores – they are rarely contract quality and will need replacing sooner than your budget will be ready. When planning your next furniture project always be sure to contact a reputable contract furniture supplier who can give you the right advice and support.
   Created on 01/03/12 at 17:14:03   Need Pricing? Click to Get it!

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Topics: Group Furniture Buying Advice, group living furniture, Tables

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