Memory care centers are often the preferred place for elderly folks with dementia, Alzheimer's, and other memory disorders to live. This is largely because these facilities employ nurses, doctors, and therapists who are specially trained to treat and care for patients with these conditions. However, Alzheimer's care centers are also physically designed to be both safe and comfortable for residents. Here are a few of the design elements you tend to see in such facilities.
Open Floor Plans With Fewer Hallways
Even people with normal memories can easily get lost in buildings that have a lot of winding hallways. So memory care facilities are usually designed with as open a floor plan as possible to make it harder for guests to get lost. It is common for these facilities to have a big, central open area, which may be divided into zones with furniture or half-walls. If a patient does start to feel disoriented or get confused, someone will see them from across the space and be able to help.
If the design of the building does require a few hallways, then those hallways are often color-coded. For example, the walls in one hall might be blue, and those in another hall might be green. This is common when residents' rooms are placed down hallways. A resident can then remember their room is in the green hall, for instance, which helps them find their way with less recall.
Wayfinding Signs and Symbols
You will probably notice some odd pictures and posters on the walls in an Alzheimer's care center. There might be a poster of a panda on the wall outside the cafeteria or a poster of a snail outside the nurse's office. These are called wayfinding symbols, and they are meant to help patients remember where they are going. They won't have to remember they need to enter the third door on the right, for instance, but instead the door with the panda.
Loud noises can be frustrating and distracting for people with memory difficulties. As such, memory care facilities are often designed with a lot of sound-absorbing materials, such as cork and foam. This keeps the space quieter, even when people are talking. It makes it easier for many people to use a large, open space at once.
Memory care facilities are wonderful environments for patients with Alzheimer's or dementia, and it's not just because of the staff; it's because of the construction, too.
For more information, contact a local memory care facility.