Robertas Lisickis, BoredPanda staff member wrote in his article:
This Nursing Home For The Elderly With Mental Problems Took An Unusual Approach To Design
None of us can honestly predict what life will be like for us when we retire. While many spend their golden years doing whatever they always wanted to but never could, some aren’t so lucky.
The body grows weak and the risk of physical as well as mental illness increases significantly as the years go by. The time that many of us are prematurely planning to be spent finally writing that book or finally getting that hobby workshop set up may be cut short by things like Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
A nursing home in Ohio that takes care of many elderly people that are suffering from memory problems decided to rethink the traditional nursing home formula.
An assisted living facility in Ohio decided to break with tradition when it comes to nursing homes.
Lantern, an assisted living facility in Ohio and a number of other locations around the US, revamped their indoor spaces to look like an authentic neighborhood. The facility features living units that look like houses, equipped with porches and everything. There’s carpeting that looks like grass, ceiling lighting that mimics a partly-cloudy sky, and other decorative elements like street lights and garden-like flora.
Bored Panda got in touch with Jean Makesh, the CEO of Lantern and the man behind this idea. We asked him about the origins of this idea: “I simply wanted to address the pain. I always believed and to this day believe that if I don’t, who else will?”
He continued: “As an occupational therapist, a caregiver, a care provider, and a businessman, it is my responsibility to take care of my elderly clients and families. The design I have in all my communities are influenced by the elderly clients that I served over time and serve now. I made a conscious and a difficult decision to only listen to my elderly clients. They taught me everything I know today.”
Its “neighborhood” design aims to provide a healthy environment to the elderly with memory problems.
Besides the looks, the nursing home also strives to mimic the feel of the place by setting up ambient sound and smell. So, whenever the inhabitants leave their units, they are greeted by friendly bird chirping and the smells of the outside. This way, all of their senses are stimulated to feel as if they never left their homes to live in a nursing facility.
Makesh explained that the environment is key in dealing with memory illness and other typical mental problems of the elderly years. Alzheimer’s patients, for example, experience a great amount of confusion in elderly homes, so creating a more familiar setting helps to alleviate their struggles.
“As an occupational therapist, I was trained to approach everything scientifically. I researched every concept to ensure that my designs were scientific and had elements of science to support everything that my elderly clients taught me,” explained Makesh.
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