With the demand for Memory Care communities on the rise, incorporating innovative design tricks will be key to supporting the needs of these residents. In addition to reduced mobility, strength and visual acuity, residents may have added concerns, like wandering or psychological symptoms. It is also important to consider integrating long-term infection control and prevention initiatives in memory care design.
1. Select simple fabrics
When choosing fabrics, stick to lighter colorways – dark fabrics may appear as a missing space or hole. Similarly, keep the patterns simple. Complex patterns, specifically those with dots, could be mistaken for bugs or debris, while textured fabrics could encourage residents to pick at the fabric. Like in all Senior Living environments, vinyl fabrics are a great choice for Memory Care spaces because they’re moisture resistant and easy to wipe down. Find out more fabric and color palette Senior Living interior design tips.
2. Choose innovative wayfinding
Since Memory Care residents are prone to wander, it’s important to help them find their way throughout the community. Clear signage and wayfinding materials, like 3D texture panels, are a good place to start. By combining color and texture into a wayfinding material, the panels help guide residents as well as boost mood, improve behavior and increase calmness. When designing dementia care spaces, consider open-concept interior design to allow for wandering, distancing guidelines, and resident safety.
3. Create intimate dining spaces
Consider table sizes that seat two to four residents. This can create a more comfortable setting for residents to converse with each other, stimulating social interaction. Plus, a more intimate setting will help minimize distractions for residents trying to complete one specific task. Create the ideal dining space for Memory Care residents with tables and chairs from our dining furniture selection. Intimate memory care dining designs also promote safe distancing and consistent interactions, which are important for infection prevention tactics. Consider limiting personnel in the memory care rooms to those only essential for care.
4. Encourage personal décor
Create a personalized entryway outside of the resident’s room by using recognizable décor from home. It’ll help the resident find their way and feel more comfortable. Start by including photos, and consider adding memory boxes so residents can add personal mementos.
5. Support physical stimulation
Movement is an important part of keeping residents healthy. Regular physical activity and structured activities are still encouraged with infection prevention design, as long as proper disinfecting and distancing guidelines can be followed. Not only can movement help generate a calming effect, it can also improve circulation and prevent pressure ulcers. Consider using rocking chairs to give residents a chance to move and stimulate different areas of the brain. Innovative stationary rockers are a great option because they feature a seat and backrest that rock while the leg and arm assembly stays in place for increased safety.
6. Design activity zones
Appeal to residents’ hobbies and foster an environment that promotes choice, fun and socialization by including dedicated spaces for art, woodworking, exercise and other activities. For example, incorporate space and furnishings that accommodate sing-alongs, jam sessions and performances by local musical groups. Music is a great way to spark memories and conversation among residents. Another easy way to create a dedicated space is by including a Life Station, which encourages residents to engage with familiar activities. Routines with regular activities provide great mental stimulation for residents with dementia and memory loss. Throughout activities, residents in dementia care may need frequent reminders of safe hand washing, social distancing, and face covering wearing.
7. Opt for smart accessories
When putting together your accessories package, look for innovative products designed specifically for Memory Care environments. From interactive video games to “exergaming,” which combines immersive entertainment and therapy, there are an array of tech-savvy accessories that foster engagement and fun. Consider adding in companion pets, which provide happiness and intergenerational play for seniors by responding to a resident’s presence, voice and touch. Be sure to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, accessories, and games to aid in effective infection prevention.
As you create your next Memory Care space, use these tips for calming, supportive and safe environment designs for residents. Read more on improving dining for Memory Care or contact us today to start your Senior Living project.
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