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Have you and your elderly loved one ever found yourselves frustrated by the little inconveniences encountered in the patient rooms of a hospital in San Diego County? Maybe you’ve wondered why the rooms aren’t built larger to allow personnel to get around them easier; why outlets and switches aren’t more accessible to patients; or why there isn’t simply more attention given to sprucing up the atmosphere with good interior decorating. Today, the problem of poorly designed hospital rooms is being addressed by someone who is well qualified—in fact, over-qualified—to do so.
Michael Graves, one of the world’s leading architects, contracted a very rare infection in 2003, which led to a series of visits to eleven different hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. Today, Graves is in a wheelchair, paralyzed by the disease but still devoting more time than ever to his architectural design work. The main focus of his work is now the deplorable state of hospital room accessibility and aesthetics that he found during his trip through the health care system. He has a passion to help others recover more quickly during their hospital stay by surrounding them with spacious, beautiful rooms and decorations; placing handles, knobs, outlets, and faucets within reach of wheelchair-using patients; and designing equipment that improves the services of the staff of a hospital in San Diego.
Through a partnership with Stryker, a company that builds hospital furniture, Graves is converting his designs to reality, with a number of products already available and making their way into health facilities. The employees of the company even use wheelchairs themselves occasionally in order to get an accurate idea of the needs of recovering patients. As these products are installed in facilities across the country, hopefully patients visiting the hospital in San Diego County will become more comfortable and better able to complete their stay with fewer annoyances created by poor design.
Although Michael Graves’ illness has taken away his ability to enjoy many of his favorite activities such as golfing and traveling around the world, his attitude is positive. He recognizes that he probably would not have developed an interest in improving health care facility design if he had not been forced to spend so much time in the hospital, and he is excited about devoting his future career to making the lives of other hospital patients better. The next time your elderly loved one must pay a visit to a hospital in San Diego County, perhaps it will be more comfortable due to the efforts of Michael Graves.
Originally posted 2011-12-28 10:30:56.