Hmm but they call it residential home!?
By looking at the photos from my grandmothers residential home https://interiorwise.wordpress.com/category/wise-interior/ its hard to get a glance of a HOME, do you agree? So, how do we make our elderly feel more at home? My answer is INTERIOR DESIGN! I know that no matter what, its not possible to make a copy of my grandmas real home, BUT no doubt – it is possible, and should be the content of the definition of a residential home, that a residential home is a place offering our elderly a so-close-to-home alike environment with a nice and warm atmosphere, a place where they can feel safe and identify themselves in what surrounds them! My grandma never owned a white laminate and steel dinner table!!
What does the research say?
Anjali Joseph, Ph.D., Director of Research at The Center for Health Design in California did a research back in 2006 to assess the relationship between physical environmental factors and resident and staff outcomes in different types of long-term-care settings. The research was based on more than 250 peer reviewed journal articles within architecture, nursing, psychology, and psychiatry. Her key findings were – physical environment have an impact both on patients, their family, and the staff! Especially showing in the residents quality of life, the residents feeling of safety, and staff stress http://www.healthdesign.org/sites/default/files/Health%20Promotion%20by%20Design%20in%20LTC%20Settings_0.pdf .
Surprise it doesn’t chock me! What chocks me or better, what makes me so embarrassed and angry is that, it seems like (at least in Denmark) that nobody is taken that knowledge into account and done something about! I know that private homes have a tendency to do a much better job when it comes to interior and environmental factors, but lets face it, the majority of the elderly in Denmark end up in our public cares settings!
I can refer to a bunch of studies, but if nobody is acting on it – whats the value?
With the knowledge of a world wide population getting older and older, we are facing an increase of the elderly population with a need for care settings – care settings that actually takes care of them, not only in meeting their visible needs but also there “invisible” needs like offering them caring environments designed to promote their well being! It is like that in Denmark and I just read, in the mentioned research report by Anjali Joseph, that they estimate by year 2030, nearly 150 million Americans will have a chronic condition and consequently a need for quality long-term care (Joseph, 2006:2).
Ill end tonights post with this quote from an article published in Seniors Housing Update August 2008 from Gerontology research centre. It speaks for itself!!
“Many residents complained that they did not know where they should go because there were so many identical tables. In addition, their furniture and finishing gave an institutional ambience (e.g., furniture were mainly made of metal frames and vinyl covers, linoleum flooring), that added confusion and disorientation for residents with dementia. The dining rooms in River Rock Manor were quieter as a result of fewer people and smaller size.They had homelike features (e.g., cabinetry, cooking oven, fireplace, colorful curtains and furniture made of wood and fabrics), that helped to make the place familiar for residents to eat”.