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You Call This a Nursing Home?

This Alzheimer's facility turns nursing home design on its head

By Heidi Raschke and SCAN Foundation

Are you inside or outside? Are you living in the present or the past? People with Alzheimer's often get confused by such matters. Instead of fighting it, Jean Makesh, CEO of The Lantern assisted living facilities, decided to go with it.

"What if we design an environment that looks like outside?" Makesh said in a recent Upworthy story. "What if I can have a sunrise and sunset inside the building? What if I'm able to have the moon and stars come out? What if I build a unit that takes residents back to the '30s and '40s?"

After exploring these ideas as well as researching aromatherapy and sound therapy, he created a unique memory-care facility in Madison, Ohio, Upworthy reports, and two new locations are set to open this year.

With sky-like ceilings and grass-like carpets, Makesh's design thinking approach is a much-needed breath of fresh air.

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nursing home

Residents live in "homes" on a quiet residential "streets" instead of hospital-like units.

The carpet looks like grass. The ceiling is a sky that dims as night falls, keeping residents attuned to the rhythms of the natural world.

When residents walk outside, they hear birds singing and catch whiffs of citrus or peppermint.

Residents go home to rooms that are not only safe but cozy.

Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy. Read More
By SCAN Foundation 
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