Color Preferences for Long-Term Care Facility Whiteboards

Mar 23, 2021

nursing home

Color is one of the most important design aspects of a custom whiteboard. It not only effects the overall aesthetic of a whiteboard, but it can also impact how noticeable the whiteboard is as well as how it makes people feel. In long-term care facilities like nursing homes, where whiteboards are often used as communication tools in both patient rooms and common areas, color plays a large part in setting a particular mood. Long-term care facilities generally try to set an atmosphere of warmth and comfort, making color choice an important part of the whiteboard design process. 

Which colors are the best to use on a whiteboard placed in a long-term care facility? That depends on the environment and mood that needs to be set. Research into color preferences in these types of facilities can guide a facility in choosing a color that is right for its patients. 


What Research Tells Us About Color Preference 

Based on patient color preferences, options for whiteboards are not limited in long-term care facilities. However, the placement of the whiteboard can dictate which colors are best to use. A study into the use of color in nursing homes gives us further insight into color options for whiteboards in both common areas and patient rooms. While researchers found that patients enjoyed both warm and cool color hues, their enjoyment of them changed significantly based on where the colors were used. 


What Colors Work for Patient Rooms 

Patient rooms in long-term care facilities are places for privacy, rest, and relaxation. They are places where there is low stimuli, resulting in low activation and arousal of brain activityThe study found that cool colors and hues induced low arousal levels in patients and were therefore preferred greatly. The most preferred color was that which was closest to the center of the visual spectrum, green (which has a wavelength of 550 nm). Also favored in these areas were hues of blue and purple. 


What Colors Work for Common Areas

In common spaces, which are often used as activities, visitation, and areas of gatherings, patients overwhelmingly prefer colors that induce high arousal levels and activity in the brain. These bright, warm colors include hues of red, orange, and yellow. Once again, patients mostly preferred the warm color that is closest to the center of the visual spectrum, yellow (which has a wavelength of 580 nm). These warm colors are best for social activities that require high brain activity and alertness in patients. 


Stay Towards the Center 

The surprising find in the study is the preference for patients to the center of the visual spectrum. In both common and private areas, the colors (cool greens for private areas and warm yellow for common areas) that reside at the center are highly preferred.  

While color choices can range across the entire spectrum, giving facilities plenty of color options for their whiteboards, it’s important to consider the intended purpose of the room where the whiteboard will be placed.  


Which colors are right for your facility? Let us help you decide! Get in touch with Ghent Healthcare to see our limitless design options for your facility’s whiteboards.