The AFA’s mannequin house for folks with Alzheimer’s features a good fridge and an electrical range with burner cowl.
Getting a analysis of dementia is frightening sufficient, however how folks can reside in a house that addresses their illness was the topic of a current occasion from the Worldwide Furnishings and Design Affiliation.
IFDA NY members met on the Alzheimer’s Basis of America workplaces in New York to listen to about and tour the House, a 600-square foot mannequin studio house the place each merchandise was fastidiously thought-about to deal with Alzheimer’s and different varieties of dementia. The house was designed by Rosemary Bakker.
As greater than 47 million folks worldwide presently have dementia – a quantity that’s anticipated to develop to 135 million by 2050 – the AFA felt it essential to create an area to showcase the options and varieties of merchandise to assist this group. That included high-tech objects, akin to a wise fridge, to low-tech ones, together with the fireplace suppressors that adhere to the vary hood.
With the house, the AFA wished to exhibit how somebody with Alzheimer’s can have a cushty, safe, and secure setting – and keep of their dwelling for so long as attainable, stated Jennifer Reeder, the AFA’s director of instructional and social companies. The correct dwelling design also can scale back stress, which “may help not solely the person however the caregivers, too,” she stated. “The world can look like an extremely terrifying place if you happen to’re not capable of grasp what’s occurring round you.”
It’s additionally good to keep in mind that “this individual is an achieved grownup, not a baby,” and ought to be handled as such, Reeder added.
With many varieties of dementia – Alzheimer’s being the most typical – it’s vital to appreciate that each individual is exclusive, and typically what works for one affected person, received’t for an additional, Reeder stated.
“An individual is greater than their analysis. We at all times must deal with strengths, relatively than dwelling on deficiencies,” she stated. “What can the individual can nonetheless do and the way can we improve that – versus specializing in what the individual can’t do anymore.”
The options for AFA’s house begin proper on the entrance door with a pink wreath, which helps folks establish their dwelling. Within the kitchen house, the good fridge permits caregivers to see what’s inside by an app, in addition to show notes and reminders. The microwave has a most time restrict, so it may’t be unintentionally programmed for 30 hours, for instance.
When deciding on what sort of cooktop to make use of, Bakker determined to go along with electrical as an alternative of induction. Whereas induction may be very secure, it’s not one thing persons are at all times conversant in, and it requires particular wiring and cookware, she stated. As a substitute of electrical coils, the range has electrical good burners, which have know-how to forestall reaching temperatures at which most cooking oils can ignite. Additionally, a light-weight aluminum range cowl hides the burners when they don’t seem to be in use.
Lighting all through the house is glare-free and function with a circadian rhythm to imitate pure night-day patterns. Battery-operated floor-level night time lights within the bed room and loo activate robotically at midnight to assist forestall falls.
The lavatory space features a comfort-height rest room (17 inches from the ground versus 15 inches for the standard rest room) to assist somebody with mobility points to take a seat and stand. The sink and drugs cupboard are each accessible whether or not somebody is sitting or standing. The sink, like different objects all through the house, has curved edges to keep away from bumping and bruising. And the seize bar within the bathe is angled, as that’s simpler for people who find themselves taking a seated bathe, Bakker stated.
Individuals with Alzheimer’s may additionally expertise modifications with their senses, and the AFA affords a handout that gives ideas. For instance, they could have issues deciphering photos, so utilizing contrasting colours and prints helps them distinguish between surfaces. The change doesn’t mirror poor eyesight, however is attributable to dementia itself, the AFA emphasised. The individual may additionally have problem with processing sounds, so background noise ought to be minimized.
The AFA’s house additionally has a couple of locations the place objects have been labeled with photos – akin to dresser drawers that illustrate what’s inside. Bakker stated some folks with Alzheimer’s reply higher with photos, others with phrases. She additionally added that typically even the lavatory door ought to be labeled, so the individual will not be confused if there are a number of doorways in a hallway.
Different assets from the AFA embrace a information that will get into the house’s particulars room by room and consists of the merchandise used within the dwelling. The AFA is already engaged on its subsequent mannequin mission – an area in Babylon on Lengthy Island that may mimic a ranch home.
Reeder additionally added that individuals could contact her if they need a tour themselves or to schedule an occasion.
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