With the current elder care system in peril and millions of babyboomers on their way to old age, most experts agree that we must fundamentally change our country’s approach to elder care. BIF’s Nursing Home of the Future initiative has created a neutral, non-profit platform for experimentation where partners can test new solutions in a real world environment alongside other designers, clinicians, service providers, product manufacturers and elder care experts.


The transformation of our nation’s current elder care system will require new kinds of collaboration, a deeper commitment to experimentation and supportive pathways that quickly and cost effectively move new ideas into the marketplace. The Business Innovation Factory’s Nursing Home of the Future laboratory is creating a sustainable platform for testing new services, products and systems while simultaneously determining if a novel solution will work in a real-world environment.

Phase I: Understanding the Current Elder Experience

Phase I: Understanding the Current Elder Experience

In October 2008 the team reached an important milestone in bringing the NHoF lab to life with the completion of the first phase of project activity.  In phase I, the team created a detailed description of the current experience of nursing home and assisted-living residents that illuminates the day-to-day dynamics of elder life and reveals areas of the experience most in need of redesign. The team synthesized these observations into a series of maps, vignettes and photographic displays that make it easier for non-experts and experts alike to understand the current experience and preview a set of opportunities for improving it.

Phase II: Active Experimentation

Phase II of NHoF lab activity will begin in January 2009. In Phase II, the team will leverage the work of phase I to begin active experimentation with new products, services and systems for improving the elder experience.



The Nursing Home of the Future team includes designers, researchers, clinicians, private sector partners and elder care experts. The strength of the team lies in their diversity and cross sector / cross industry perspectives.

NHoF Design Workshop at Tockwotton Home

NHoF Design Workshops at Tockwotton Home

Through a series of design workshops with elders at Tockwotton Home, the NHoF team has solicited feedback on draft protocols for conducting experiential research, data capture techniques, use of physical and virtual lab environments, and approaches for sustained elder engagement in all lab activities.