Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 10

EDITORIAL

Wants and needs
Striking a balance between all the factors that should be considered
when designing built environments is a constant challenge
When I was young, my grandfather moved in with my family
when his health had deteriorated enough that he could no
longer live alone but didn't yet require skilled nursing. Over the
years, though, we saw a shift, with memory lapses, days and
nights confused, and other warning signs that dementia was
settling in-and I didn't know how to respond. I was reminded
of this recently when I heard P.K. Beville speak as a keynote
presenter at the EFA Expo & Conference in Las Vegas.
As the founder of Second Wind Dreams, an organization
dedicated to changing the perception of aging, Beville
works to resolve the challenges that face us all as we
grow old. Specifically, she's undertaken the commendable task of helping caregivers better
understand what it's like to experience the effects of dementia, with the goal of achieving
empathy and, in return, improving care delivery.
It's important work, because it's too easy to identify the behaviors of those dealing with
dementia as simply symptoms of the disorder. But to explain why a person is unable to eat, or
can't follow a conversation, or is standing in a corner staring at the wall-well, that's a different
story. Because once you understand it, that means you can do something to help address it.
For example, Beville played a video of an interview with a man in his late 40s, who was
10 years into his diagnosis. He offered a rare look inside the dementia brain, so to speak,
describing the cacophony he hears in public settings because his brain can't tune out external
noises from vacuum cleaners, neighboring conversations, or volume changes on a television.
(For more on Beville's presentation and the EFA Expo, see "Come Together" on page 18.)
Although enlightening, this type of information presents a wrinkle for senior living design

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and the inclusive practice of creating environments where memory care patients have
access to the same spaces and amenities as other residents in a community. But if those
spaces and amenities exacerbate the situation and cause discomfort or anxiety to those with
dementia (tables too close together in dining areas or TVs prominently located in common
spaces), can the social benefit outweigh the physical detriment?
I imagine a delicate balance is required, and I'm curious to hear how designers and
owners/operators are responding to this. So often we consider how the desires of baby
boomers are inspiring the communities created today, but as spaces evolve for preferences
associated with daily living, it's important that they also evolve to answer new insights on
diseases and other conditions that come with aging.
To see the latest solutions being delivered in memory care-and independent living,
assisted living, skilled nursing, etc.-turn to page 44 for our 21st annual EFA Design
Showcase. The projects highlighted on those pages have changed tremendously over the
years, and Beville reminds us that there's always reason to keep pushing forward. EFA

10

EFAmagazine.com * Spring 2017

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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Environments for Aging - Spring 2017

Environments for Aging - Spring 2017
Contents
EFAmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Bulletin
Come together
All ages welcome
Welcome
2017 Jury
Seen and heard
A reinvention
Illuminating ideas
In the details
Project directory
EFA Design Showcase
Product gallery
Q+A
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Environments for Aging - Spring 2017
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Cover2
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 1
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 2
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 3
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Contents
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 5
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - EFAmagazine.com
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 7
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 8
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 9
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Editorial
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 11
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Show Talk
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 13
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Bulletin
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 15
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 16
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 17
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Come together
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Welcome
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 33
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 2017 Jury
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 35
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Seen and heard
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 37
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - A reinvention
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 39
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Illuminating ideas
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 41
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - In the details
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Project directory
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - EFA Design Showcase
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Product gallery
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Q+A
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Cover3
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