June 3, 2016

How a Purpose-Built Community Enhances the Lives of People Living with Dementia

Millennials may have overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest generation, but the U.S. population of Boomers still exceeds 74 million. As a result, communities and healthcare providers alike must prepare for the needs of this aging population. Already more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia and, says the Alzheimer’s Association, “These numbers will escalate rapidly in coming years as the baby boom generation has begun to reach age 65 and beyond, the age range of greatest risk of Alzheimer’s.” The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that by 2050, the number of people with dementia may triple unless researchers make a prevention or cure breakthrough. To address current and future needs, Clarity Pointe has teamed with Miller-Valentine Group to create a purpose-built assisted living neighborhood in Liberty Township.

Liberty Township Will Ring In New Year with a New Memory Care Facility

The ground-breaking in April kicked off construction of a 44,290 square foot, 60-unit facility that is expected to be complete in early Spring 2017. Roland Wintzinger, the Clarity Pointe Partner for the Midwest, told The Journal-News that “It’s a valuable asset because a lot of families are looking for these types of facilities. If somebody is relocating to the area, they’re looking for a facility like that because they’d like to keep their mom or dad close by.”

According to The Journal-News article, the site already has four cottages, and Clarity Pointe plans to expand the number of independent and assisted living cottages—with two units per cottage— to complement the new Clarity Pointe memory care facility. Wintzinger said that residents of the cottages will be able to take advantage of the amenities of the new facility, such as group activities and meals.

What does a Purpose-Built Memory Care Facility Look Like?

When a person suffers from Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, design matters. The Alzheimer’s Association recommends an environment that “accommodates behavioral changes, maximizes abilities, promotes safety and encourages independence.” A purpose-built facility like Clarity Pointe addresses the unique needs of residents with dementia in many ways.

  1. To alleviate location- and time-based confusion—a common occurrence with dementia patients—personalized memory boxes are mounted outside each suite door to welcome residents to their private suites. The building also features large windows to let in natural light, helping residents with time orientation.
  2. To enhance security and address safety concerns, the facility will have alarmed interior and exterior doors. Recognizing that residents also need to maintain a sense of independence—indoors and outdoors, alike—the facility will feature a centralized memory park that is completely secure while offering a lush landscape with seating, a butterfly garden, raised gardening beds and opportunities to enjoy a game of shuffleboard, putting greens or other outdoor exercises.
  3. To make residents feel comfortable, community spaces like the dining, living, and recreational areas will feature home-like furnishings and décor of varying designs to provide visual reminders of the types of activities conducted in each space.  Each suite incorporates a private bath designed to better orient and cue a resident’s behavior. In addition, residents will have easy access to a salon and spa.
  4. To prevent residents from feeling overwhelmed by their surroundings, the facility will feature specialized covered lighting to reduce visual overstimulation due to contrast and shadows on floor surfaces.

Of course, the design and construction of a dementia-friendly facility is just the start. The staff at Clarity Point will engage residents with daily activity programming designed to meet their individual physical, social and spiritual needs. For instance, the My Life Connections™ program uses a variety of activities like games, arts & crafts, music therapy and pet therapy to engage residents in meaningful ways. From the person-centered care supported by Clarity Pointe’s LifeBio™ approach to the wide range of cultural, educational and therapy programs, this new purpose-built, memory care facility promises to deliver precisely what each resident needs for an enhanced quality of life in spite of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.  Contact Peter Marrocco at Miller-Valentine Group for more information on this or similar purpose-built projects. He can be reached at 877-684-7687.