Statistics show that one out of nine Americans ages 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease. According to the latest data, there will be roughly 14 million Americans with Alzheimer’s by the year 2050. Meanwhile, other American senior citizens also have dementia.
These patients need a facility that addresses their needs in memory care. Over the past few years, the number of memory care facilities has increased over 3 percent. The overall occupancy in memory care facilities has declined due to this development, taking vacancy levels up to 9.3 percent.
With this kind of development, let us talk about the areas you need to consider in a memory care facility. Doing so will help you choose a senior living construction company to partner with in the future.
Primary Spaces to Consider in a Memory Care Facility
A Quiet Zone
Studies show that patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are sensitive to noise. They get distracted easily and might trigger uncontrollable behaviors; most patients become overwhelmed with large crowds and spaces. Expert medical doctors say that people with dementia can react better in smaller and noise-free spaces. It’s also essential to regulate visual and noise stimulation in a memory care facility.
Hence, a healthcare facility must have ample space that minimizes overstimulation. Doing so can help the patients reduce their stress levels.
Safe Ingress and Egress
Many patients often feel the need to wander somewhere. They think they need to be in a new place. The Alzheimer’s Association in the United States states that 60 percent of patients with dementia desire to wander off. When they feel deprived of this need, they usually become agitated, which can trigger them to sneak out. It can cause anxiety and frustration to them.
Every memory care facility must have safe ingress and egress. There is always a high risk of patients who will attempt to escape. The facility’s entrance and exit should have security 24 hours a day — not only by security guards but also healthcare professionals to assist them.
Most memory care facilities have built-in sensors around their buildings to ensure that they can track every patient’s movement.
Themed Rooms and Spaces
Themed designs can help treat patients and can positively trigger their memories. Themed rooms can help them remember events and people in their lives. Among the common themes are music, garden, and cityscapes. Themed spaces can also trigger their sensory stimulation. It opens their minds to reality. You can check a short guide to the innovative trends of senior living facilities architecture design so that you can make the right choice.
Residential-Like Buildings and Rooms
It is beneficial to a patients’ treatment when the memory care facility is more akin to a residential building. Medical and hospital-like settings usually appear unfriendly and frightening for the elderly. It can make a patient with dementia feel disoriented.
Modern memory care facilities have upgraded their building structures and environment to be residential-like. It gives patients a sense of familiarity, which makes them feel comfortable and more relaxed. Medical apparatus and equipment are disguised into something else so that the rooms look like a hotel or residential apartment rather than a hospital. Some facilities even allow their patients to design their space to create a homey vibe, like setting up family pictures and keeping their stuff.