The umbrella stand serves its functional storage purpose and also serves as a transition between the outside and inside. The stand is a signal for guests to remove their coats and visit with residents, reinforcing the idea that this LTC facility is the residents home.
The most important—and homiest—aspect of this assisted living facility is also the smallest: the doorbell. “What it signifies is that you are not entering an institution or a traditional nursing home,” Pritchard says. “You are entering someone’s home.” And just like you do when you visit someone, you ask for permission to enter. That subtly reminds visitors how they should behave in this environment, too.
The interior design brings the outdoors in. “It’s makes it feel more of a transition between the public space and the private space,” Carpenter says. The front door has a doorknob and windows. There’s HardiePlank siding, a stone pillar, overhead lantern lights, bead board ceiling and wooden flooring. Those touches can help reinforce this is a destination for visitors and help orient residents that this is home.
Beyond building materials, the furnishings recreate the look of a front porch, a space where people live and are free to express themselves. “We’re treating it just like you would your front porch at home,” Pritchard says. “It’s a place that you would want to sit and look out the windows and watch the comings and goings of the community.” A resin rocker combined with traditional living room chairs and side table create an inviting space to sit for a spell.
Read more: Memories of home
Image courtesy of Alise O’Brien Photography
The Memory Care Forums connect key professionals so that they may share best practices, field research, and practical solutions for improving quality memory care. Hands-on approaches, train-the-trainer sessions, experiential demonstrations, and rich discussions are at the core of each Memory Care Forum.