Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 21

Landry, a preventive medicine physician,
author, and cofounder of Masterpiece Living, a multispecialty group that partners with
organizations to create better environments for
seniors, shared a historical look at human characteristics, highlighting the elements that were
important to societies prior to the Industrial
Revolution, such as mobility. "We are creatures
of movement. We are meant to move," he said.
He also discussed how our ancestors were
always learning, had strong social networks and
a slower pace of life, and were close to nature.
While much has changed since then, he
said it's still important to consider these
characteristics when designing today's senior
living environments, to create places that
aren't only pleasant and comfortable but
that also help people age in a better way. For

we work to use our brains. "Thoughtless ritual
doesn't help," he said. "Shake it up. The brain
responds to that."
Another key feature for senior living environments is to encourage connection. Landry
said traditional approaches to senior living
have been to isolate seniors, which can affect
health. At our core, he said, people need to
be with people, which can lead to lower risks
of heart disease, dementia, and cancer.
Landry encouraged the audience to use
these ideas as guiding principles to help replace traditional views and expectations, such
as comfort and security, with an emphasis on
lifestyle and environment. "The demographic
is here. The research tells us what's possible.
We need to put that together," he said. "Take
the road less traveled."-Anne DiNardo

example, Landry said living environments
should be designed to stimulate movement
by including accommodations that make it
safe to take risks without experiencing harm.
He also challenged the notion that brain function automatically declines as we age, saying
that cognitive function can remain strong if

D AY 2 KEYNOTE

P.K. Beville, "A New View of
Dementia"
In 1983, P.K. Beville began working in longterm care and recognized a troubling issue:
Residents with dementia were designated
incontinent after soiling themselves three
times and were subsequently placed in briefs
as the care protocol.

It occurred to her that rather than making
a decision that takes dignity away from those
individuals, it made more sense to figure out
how to get to the root of the problem and make
bathrooms more accessible to those living with
dementia and help caregivers understand why
the issue was occurring in the first place.
And that thought process has shaped
her work ever since, she shared during her
keynote presentation at this year's EFA Expo.
Today, she's founder of Second Wind Dreams,
an organization dedicated to changing the
perception of aging. Part of that work focuses
on dementia, specifically, and helping people
move away from considering the condition
a mental illness. "We add and add stigma to
these people," she said, noting that this occurs despite dementia being, simply put, the
process of the brain dying. "That's not mental
illness; that's organic."
To provide a way to better understand this
distinction, Beville pursued a PhD project in
which she posed the hypothesis that offering
sensitivity training to caregivers would result
in a change in attitude about dementia and
the care needed. She developed a Virtual
Dementia Tour (VDT) and took it on the road,
offering an immersive simulation of the dementia experience, such as providing shoe inserts
to cause pain and feelings associated with
neuropathy, glasses that disturb peripheral
vision and cause a visual haze, and audio that
delivers random and startling noises.
Over the years she's continued to enhance
the VDT, delivering simulations as well as critical insight on dementia that's been gathered
though interviews of individuals experiencing
its effects. "Don't develop anything for people
living with dementia without taking the time to
figure out where they are," she said.
Where they are, she added, is largely dictated by failure of the body's reticular activating
system, which controls sleeping, waking, and
attention; filters out "junk" that we don't need
to pay attention to; allows us to focus on things
we value and perceive threats; and supports
us when we set goals. Without this system
functioning properly, individuals experience
the world differently in numerous ways: for
example, jumping every time a door slams because the brain can't determine that it doesn't
matter, being unable to tune out conversations
from neighboring tables in dining rooms, hitting
shoulders on door frames because of failing
depth perception, or standing in corners
Spring 2017 * EFAmagazine.com

21


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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
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Come together
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Welcome
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 2017 Jury
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Seen and heard
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - A reinvention
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 39
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Illuminating ideas
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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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