Environments for Aging - Summer 2022 - 35

community
Memory care models offer various scales
Common threads
and approaches, while all striving to deliver
meaningful experiences for residents
By Eric McRoberts
The open great room in
the Legacy Place small
house in Allentown,
Pa., is designed to
allow daylight to enter
the space from both
sides. This encourages
residents to access
the gardens outside
while also keeping the
interior living spaces
bright all day.
I
T'S ESTIMATED THAT 6.2 million Americans
over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer's
disease, and that number is only
expected to grow. At this point, we don't
know the cause(s) or have a cure, but care
providers and design professionals have continued
to seek out and develop better strategies to improve
life for people with memory impairments.
Each model and program have unique aspects
that require differing approaches to design.
However, there are physical design elements
that can be applied to all memory care models
and programs to allow for authentic interactions
and positive life experiences, including:
* Providing a variety of enriched amenity
spaces so that residents can make choices
about what they do, where they go, and how
they get there
* Offering privacy as well as opportunities for
social connections and varied experiences,
with each environment clearly differentiated
* Creating spatial literacy through embedded
wayfinding elements
* Providing abundant visual and physical access
to the outdoors.
A common element to all memory care models
and program approaches is a focus on meaningful
resident experiences-seeing and engaging
with individuals based on what they can
do versus their limitations. Resident autonomy
and freedom of choice are another common
thread, as well as the recognition that isolation,
lack of purpose, and feelings of helplessness
have a corrosive effect on the human spirit.
As the industry has learned more about the
disease and its effects on cognitive aptitude,
many design solutions for the built environment
have emerged. Here, we dive into some of
those models and their attributes.
The home (house). Familiarity of an environment
can be so critical to " comfort " for memory
care residents by creating a human-scale
setting that's both familiar and easily navigable.
This is why the small house model has
gained so much traction. The house model is
summer 2022 | 35
NATHAN COX PHOTOGRAPHY

Environments for Aging - Summer 2022

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Environments for Aging - Summer 2022 - Cover1
Environments for Aging - Summer 2022 - Cover2
Environments for Aging - Summer 2022 - 1
Environments for Aging - Summer 2022 - 2
Environments for Aging - Summer 2022 - 3
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Environments for Aging - Summer 2022 - Cover3
Environments for Aging - Summer 2022 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/efa/2022summer
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https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/efa/2021Winter
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/efa/fall2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/efa/2019fall
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/efa/2018fall
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/efa/2017fall
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/efa/2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/efa/2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/efa/2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/efa/201510
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