Senior Care Communities: Just because they look nice, doesn’t mean they are

Sponsored by Memorable Pets

Use code RWONDER for free shipping (up to $50 of shipping costs) on your next order! Click the Memorable Pets logo here to start saving.

“I moved my dad into the nicest place ever,” she exclaimed. “They have this beautiful lobby and all of these brand new chairs!”

I have heard family caregivers talk about this idea a lot. They think, “Ah, this place looks so fancy, it must be nice.” This could be true, and the dementia care community that you’re looking at could be great…but often, looks are deceiving. 

Just because a community looks nice for families doesn’t mean that it is dementia-friendly. Many communities that I’ve been to have been recently developed by architects outside of the industry. Despite the fact that architects have a great sense of design and style, they often lack any clues about what people with dementia really need.

When a place looks really nice and pristine, but lacks any real character, you can be sure that it is not actually dementia-friendly. 

I recently toured a community with a beautiful exterior and interior. They had nice furniture, a large bird menagerie, and a nice garden. But…that was it. 

They didn’t have a place for baby dolls, they didn’t have music playing, and they lacked any sort of organized activities. Why? Because it was designed for families to enjoy, not for residents with dementia.

The families are the decision-makers. They decide when and where to move a loved one, and so often they panic when they see things that are actually dementia-friendly. “Well, my mom wouldn’t want to play with a baby doll!” they’ll say, upon seeing a resident pleasantly interacting with what she believes is a real baby.

Some communities have unfortunately caught onto this, and will take away or hide anything that makes the place dementia-positive in the hopes of attracting more residents’ family members.

Do not fall prey to this.

Your loved one with dementia is the one who needs the care—not you.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

rachael photo

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

16 things poster
Get the FREE “16 Things” poster!

16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia

Get the FREE “16 Things” poster for your personal use—or better yet—your dementia care community’s staff break room!

I wrote this poem years ago, but to date, it’s the most popular piece I’ve ever created.

16 things poster