The Importance of Positive Environments For Memory Care Residents
Having a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease is disorienting, confusing and even frightening for the individual experiencing it. That’s why environments play such an important role in memory care treatment. A calming positive and soothing environment can play a significant role in a patient’s overall well-being and quality of life. Due to the nature of these cognitive diseases, creating a positive environment isn’t as easy as simply playing quiet music or minimizing distractions (although that can help greatly). Here is a closer view at how positive environments can be formed for memory care residents, and how they can help your loved one feel more confident and happy.
What impact does environment have on seniors with memory issues?
Due to the degenerative nature of dementias like Alzheimer’s, environments that were once familiar can suddenly become foreign. If there’s a lot of noise or distractions, it can be overwhelming. Things like shadows or even rugs can seem like empty holes in the floor or look like nightmarish figures. And when a person with memory issues becomes agitated, everything starts to become embroiled in a vicious cycle, leading to agitation and disruptive behaviors. A person with Alzheimer’s may wander if he or she doesn’t feel safe in the environment, or they may become physically aggressive.
How can I create a positive environment for my loved one with dementia?
If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, the most important thing is to have a familiar routine that he or she can understand and follow so they can feel like they’re at “home.” Here are some ways you can organize your home and routine in order to help your loved one:
- Clear your home of clutter and leave walkways wide open so they are easy to navigate
- Keep your home well-lit at all times – shadows can be frightening and disorienting
- Decorate your home in soothing colors to stimulate a sense of calm
- Invite family members and friends over on a regular basis to interact with your loved one
- Make sure bedrooms, common areas and bathrooms are equipped with safety features like pull bars
- Play soft, familiar music – studies have shown that music can stimulate parts of the brain that have been unaffected by the disease
- Consider hiring an in-home caregiver from time to time to help out with tasks and give you a rest
What makes an environment positive for someone in a memory care facility?
A positive memory care facility is a place that feels comfortable to your loved one and has been designed to meet their unique needs. Memory homes like Avalon have been designed to look like homes instead of an institutional facility. Walkways and living areas are wide, easy to navigate and have directional cues in order to help residents feel comfortable and confident.
Staff members who are professionally trained in dementia care are available 24/7, and provide interaction, engagement and assistance on a regular basis. Here are some features that create a positive environment in a memory care community:
- An individualized care plan that takes into consideration your loved one’s preferences and routines
- Meals are served at smaller tables to encourage conversation
- All areas are easy to navigate
- Residents have adequate privacy
- Discreet medical care is available at all times
Although a positive environment can’t cure or reverse the effects of dementia, it can lift the spirits of your loved ones and make their lives as fulfilling and happy as possible. A community that supports your loved one’s independence, safety and health above all will allow them to have a sense of personal control, which will help your loved one with dementia live well for as long as possible.
At Avalon Memory Care, we pride ourselves on the sense of home and community we create for our residents. Every home is designed to support and comfort our memory care residents. If you are looking for a memory care home in Dallas, Houston or Arlington for your loved one, you can find out more about our area locations by calling (972) 713-1383.