if you could design a memory care facility, what would it look like?

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I like this question! I’m really proud of the way that my community looks now, but if I could start from scratch, I would design something like this. It’s a big community in Amsterdam where residents can walk around, shop, and feel as though they aren’t really in a facility at all. 

However, if I couldn’t design a place from scratch, I would make as many “life skills stations” as possible. We have a baby station (with baby clothes and two realistic looking babies), a woman’s changing station with dresses, an office and computer desk, a bus stop, a library, and more. My ideal caregiving environment is a place where residents don’t feel like “patients” or “residents,” but regular people. I want it to be a place where residents feel at home because they’re happy and comfortable.

Staff will be trained and educated in dementia care. They’ll know how to handle every situation and they will really care about the residents.

Activities will always be going on, and residents will always be engaged.

That’s my ideal community.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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