Best Alzheimer’s Products is the place for Dementia Care Professionals, whatever your field. And you might be surprised at the variety of professions that go into making dementia care effective. People quite naturally think about memory care professionals and doctors. However, many other specialties and skills go into creating dementia care that is extraordinary. On a time-line, the design and construction of the building, the physical considerations, are primary. Architects and Designers are a very important part of dementia care.
DEMENTIA CARE PROFESSIONALS
We are pleasantly surprised by the number of architectural and design firms that use our services. We probably shouldn’t be; everywhere we look there are new eldercare communities being built and having grand openings. And, when you think about it designing extended car communities is the first step in providing quality care for people who have dementia.
*If you are new to design for dementia care or are exploring career paths, we recommend, e.g., A guide to senior living facilities architecture design.
In many ways designing for Memory Care is the same as designing any other living space, but there are some pronounced differences as well. Depending on the cause, dementia can affect perception and physical abilities as well as memory and other cognitive functioning. Problems with perception is not the same as poor vision. Perceptual problems involve the way the brain interprets what the eye sees. A dark floor tile can be perceived as a hole in the ground to be avoided at all costs. The act of avoidance can then become a safety issue itself if it precipitates a fall.
Read more» about how dementia can affect perception and how design can overcome some of the limitations that result from that..
We have written before about some of the considerations that go into making a living environment safer. See, for example, our post Alzheimer’s Safety. Here we consider, among other things, how physical and perceptual limitations need to influence design considerations. Color and contrast, for example, become more than simply aesthetic but are essential for safety when inhabitants’ perception is compromised by their condition. So that a wall isn’t mistaken for an extension of the floor, horizontal and vertical colors should contrast significantly. It is necessary to provide lighting, natural and artificial, that thoroughly lights an area without glare.
In all of healthcare, and especially in dementia care, safety is of primary importance, followed by providing for those everyday routines we know as Activities of Daily Living. But, you understand designing for safety and health, so let’s move on to the fun part.
Architects and Designers in Dementia Care – Beyond Safety
Eldercare design is, in many ways, different from other design projects. Design for dementia care adds even more variables. What can you as a designer add to a care environment that makes it safe, interesting and engaging to residents? The layout and the décor that you include in your design becomes a part of an overall therapy regimen.
A beautiful or otherwise interesting picture or painting on the wall brightens any room. A piece of art that can be touched, listened to, or that provides some other form of sensory feedback becomes what we like to call dementia therapy without drugs. As designers you are not concerned with drugs and medicine in the treatment of dementia, and neither are we. The pillars of our treatment recommendations are stimulation, engagement, and recreation.
Most of the products we recommend below for Architects and Designers contribute to one or more of these pillars. Any of them can be easily added to an overall design concept. Not only do they, and your design, become part of an overall treatment program for all residents, but community sales staff love them. Who wouldn’t rather entrust their loved one to a community that takes such care in providing a stimulating environment than one that is, by contrast, antiseptic and cold?
We know from countless studies that such stimulation improves memory, cognitive functioning, and quality of life.
The selection of interactive and sensory art showcased in the slider below opens a whole new world of
One marvelous example of value added design
A nursery is a useful and beneficial addition to any Memory Care unit, and more and more we are equipping and providing ideas for these rooms. Doll therapy is one of our favorite non-drug therapies for people with dementia, and a nursery is an ideal way to make this therapy available. Many people wander, often in the middle of the night. Rather than meandering aimlessly about the halls, or looking for a way out, these ramblers can “rock a baby to sleep” , and will hopefully then be ready for sleep themselves. We have some very realistic therapy dolls at an affordable price to render the nursery complete.
Product Categories for Architects and Designers
We have not gone into too much detail about the specifics of good design for dementia care. Explore our website to learn more. We also recommend sites like this one for more.
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
- I am happy to have found your site. There are lots of medical sites, but yours is appealing because it focuses more broadly on quality of life. Rebecca