If you’re looking to remodel or build a new memory care facility that provides services to support the well-being of its patients in a safe and secure environment, partnering with a senior living design firm specializing in such projects should be your first move. However, designing a memory care environment takes knowledge and expertise that not all architecture firms can provide, and that’s why it’s so important to do your research.
In today’s blog, we will look at ways to effectively design a memory care facility that meets the needs of patients while ensuring caregivers can provide the support they need to live their best lives. Read on to learn why partnering with a firm like HDA Architects, an architecture company specializing in medical design, can make all the difference for you and your residents.
Avoid a One-Size Fits All Approach
One way to ensure your memory care environment works for you and your patients is by not copying the design of other facilities. While certain processes may be the same, like meal times and common rooms for residents to spend time with family and friends, if you have limited space, you may need to opt for a combined common and dining central location.
What works for bigger facilities may not work in spaces with fewer clients. The architecture company you partner with will take all these considerations and design a safe and inviting place where residents can live full and enriching lives.
Another key consideration in designing an effective memory care environment is to consider the age of those residing there. Long-term memory is a strength for those who suffer from memory loss, and by providing familiar furnishings and decor from residents’ age-appropriate timelines, providers can ensure added layers of treatments in subtle and non-threatening ways.
Modern technology can be beneficial for residents with memory loss because it can help patients remain connected with friends and family when they cannot be there in person. To help build rapport with caregivers and residents, new project designs should consider having a robust Wi-Fi system installed so getting and staying connected is easy while adding new technology like voice assistants and other smart devices so patients can ask for assistance or help.
Light the Way
Although memory loss can occur at any age and for any reason, it is most associated with older people. As such, they may require adjustments to their surroundings, especially the level of light needed to see clearly. As we age, the lens in our eyes thickens, and less light enters the eye. As a result, less light enters the eyes, making it more difficult for patients to adjust to brightness levels.
Memory care patients in the past were usually found in the back of treatment centers with institutional lighting that offered little to no benefits to residents. However, recent research has indicated that illumination that can be brightened or dimmed according to patient needs could help normalize circadian rhythms to help patients get more rest.
Think Safety and Function
Another thing to be considered when designing new memory care environments is the safety of residents and caregivers. A safe environment for residents should be secure but not feel like a jail. You should look for ways for residents to feel free and express themselves by providing unique walkways to dining areas, social rooms, and other spaces. Designate accessible kitchens or snack bars where residents have the freedom to get a snack or a drink. And provide creative spaces where they can paint, draw, and gather alone or in group settings.
The safety of everyone in a memory care environment should be the first thing to consider in any new design. Modern technology has made it easier than ever to monitor patients with fall detection devices, and smart monitors allow patients to ask for care assistance without pushing a button or calling on the phone. Residents can safely interact with each other, and staff can better monitor patients during staffing shortages or busy times.
Ready to design your new memory care environment? Contact HDA Architects today!
At HDA Architects, our architects and project managers work to make sure your project plans are created with accuracy. We utilize state-of-the-art CAD and BIM modeling software to create a complete project model before construction begins. Throughout the project, our client portal allows access to customers to see and print copies of the blueprints so they follow the process.
Our ultimate goal is to ensure that your project is built to your specifications so you can have the building you’ve envisioned that best suits the needs of your employees and patients.