Features of Memory Care Design
Creating an environment designed specifically to address the needs of seniors with mild cognitive impairment, memory loss, alzheimer’s disease, or dementia, relies on several core design principles. Naturally, each design consideration is implemented in order to create a space which is comfortable, easy to navigate, and visually and mentally stimulating. Although it’s never wished that an individual will experience memory loss during their lifetimes, the current scenario in the United States is that approximately 15% of Americans over the age of 60 actively experience some form of memory loss. The ratio of Americans experiencing memory loss increases to significantly higher amounts as they approach their mid 70s. All of that is to say that there is a significant need for well developed and intelligently implemented memory care treatment programs and purpose built facilities for seniors experiencing some form of memory loss.
The Physical Characteristics of Memory Care Facilities
There’s been intensive study, research, and valuable advancements over the past several decades in issues related to memory loss. The ability of medical professionals and care experts to diagnose, comprehend, and treat memory problems has increased dramatically since the mid 1990s. This research has resulted in a robust knowledge base of particular issues related to the mind and memory loss. Memory care experts understand certain nuances of dealing with memory loss and certain triggers which can have adverse effects on an individual. Using this working knowledge of the dynamics of memory loss, memory care communities are designed with very specific physical features, layouts, and other considerations.
Memory Care Facilities Incorporate Visual Stimulation
Memory care designers often incorporate appealing and stimulating visual elements throughout the community. The specific visual cues will vary depending on the designing, the architecture of the buildings and landscape, and other factors, but there are common features found in many memory care communities.
Beautiful aquariums provide visual stimulation and tend to have a calming effect --- aquariums actually have this effect on people of all ages. Memory loss is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations of anxiety, stress, and general uneasiness. The individual may not be able to express or articulate exactly what they’re experiencing, but these negative emotions are often present. The calming, settling, and relaxing effect of aquariums addresses these uncomfortable sensations, and as a result, residents tend to be less confused and anxious, and have more robust appetites, all of which leads to greater health and happiness.
Natural light provides a subconscious sensation of positivity and general well being. Part of the reason people tend to feel excited, energetic, relaxed, and calm when they’re outdoors is because of the continued exposure to natural light. Lighting has a powerful effect on the moods of people and sets the atmosphere of indoor spaces. By designing spaces that allow healthy amounts of natural light inside, a relaxing and inspiring atmosphere is established, and these qualities are helpful for residents who have some form of memory loss.
Wide Open Halls With Distinct Characteristics and Designs
Closed in sensations are uncomfortable and visually unappealing. To make indoor spaces stimulating and easily recognizable, memory care communities often incorporate wide open, well lit hallways and passing areas. This can help residents find their way around their community easily and enjoy casual walks, and also encourages casual interaction and socialization around the community which is very helpful for preventing memory loss. Also, by embellishing certain areas of the community with distinct designs, colors, and appointments of various kinds, residents can easily recognize and remember exactly where they’re at in the community which helps avoid uncomfortable confusion of time and space. Communities may feature jetting hallways instead of long stretching corridors to help reduce the sensation of tunnel vision which is sometimes experienced by seniors with cognitive impairment issues.
The Cottages Memory Care at Ventura Townhouse
The Cottages is Ventura Townehouse’s dedicated memory care wing which combines spacious and attractive senior apartments with modern memory care features including Delayed Egress, Wanderguard System and other digital security features. In addition to an expert memory care staff which provides 24/7 supervision, the Cottages also provides housekeeping, daily meals prepared by professional chefs, and a variety of activities designed to help prevent memory loss and improve cognitive abilities in residents with some form of cognitive impairment.