While you may not be able to relive your youth, a chain of assisted living facilities in Ohio is giving residents the opportunity to at least revisit the setting of their younger years—all in the name of health.
The Lantern assisted living locations recently garnered attention after a Reddit user posted a photo of the interior of the chain’s Chagrin Valley outlet (others are in Madison and Saybrook). The centers are designed to look like a community of 1930s and '40s homes, complete with porches, rocking chairs, grass-like carpet, and a fiber optic ceiling that transitions from a day to night sky.
The idea is to use the environment to help care for patients who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. CEO Jean Makesh got the idea while working for a large nursing home chain, and told Cleveland.com that the design is meant, in part, to connect to Alzheimer’s patients who often retain early memories from their first few decades of life, even as they slowly lose things from later years.
The controlled environment—which Makesh says helps reduce anger, anxiety, and depression—also contains elements like aromatherapy, which can help calm residents (as with frankincense) or encourage them to eat (as with peppermint or citrus), which can often be a big issue for those suffering from dementia. There’s also aural therapy, with music and environmental sounds like birds chirping pumping through the speakers throughout the day.
Lantern is focused on rehabilitation, with occupational therapists and psychotherapists on staff, and daily classes for residents that help with basic living functions like getting dressed, which is furthered through the home-like setting. As TODAY reports, core nursing and care services are supplemented with activities like family nights, a cooking club, and shopping trips.
Plus, when it comes to overall health and happiness, it’s always nice to be able to walk out onto your porch and greet the neighbors.
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