As our aging population continues to grow, the demand for innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for those in assisted living and memory supportive care communities is more pressing than ever. At Tailored Advisory Solutions, we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve in the industry, which is why we’re excited to share the latest advances in technology, design, and care practices that are revolutionizing how we care for our loved ones. In this article, we will explore some of the most promising innovations shaping the future of assisted living and memory care facilities.
Smart Home Technologies
One of the most significant advancements in assisted living and memory care facilities is the integration of smart home technologies. These systems are designed to provide residents with greater autonomy, safety, and comfort. Some examples of smart home technologies include:
- Voice-activated assistants: These devices can help residents with daily tasks such as making phone calls, setting reminders, or playing their favorite music.
- Smart lighting: This can be programmed to adjust according to a resident’s sleep schedule, helping to regulate their circadian rhythm and improve sleep quality.
- Fall detection: Sensors can be placed throughout a resident’s living space to detect falls and immediately alert caregivers.
Memory Care-specific Designs
As the understanding of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease progresses, facility designers are paying more attention to creating environments that cater specifically to the needs of memory care residents. Some of these design innovations include:
- Smaller, more intimate living spaces: Studies have shown that smaller, homelike settings can reduce anxiety and agitation for memory care residents.
- Seeking a location with only shared room options is misunderstood. As people, most of us do not live a life in solitary, and we are accustomed to having people around us. It has been proven that having a roommate in a memory supportive community can be calming and provide comfort for some Residents.
- Wayfinding cues: Clear visual cues, such as color-coded hallways,life skills neighborhoods and easy-to-read signage, can help residents navigate their surroundings and maintain a sense of independence.
- Sensory gardens: Outdoor spaces designed with sensory stimulation in mind can provide therapeutic benefits for residents with dementia.
A shift towards person-centered/Resident-centered care is becoming more prevalent in assisted living and memory care facilities. This approach prioritizes the individual needs and preferences of each resident, fostering a sense of dignity and respect. Some examples of person-centered care practices include:
- Customized plans: Customized care plans consider each resident’s unique needs, preferences, and abilities.
- Consistent caregiver assignments: Assigning the same caregivers to specific residents helps to build trust and familiarity, which is particularly important for those with memory impairment.
- Life-enriching activities: Offering a wide range of activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities can help maintain cognitive function and improve overall resident well-being.
Virtual Reality Therapy
Virtual reality (VR) therapy is an emerging tool that can benefit assisted living and memory care residents. This technology can transport users to different environments, allowing them to relive cherished memories or participate in activities that may be difficult to engage in physically. Some potential applications of VR therapy include:
- Reminiscence therapy: VR can help individuals with dementia revisit familiar places and experiences, potentially triggering positive memories and emotions.
- Cognitive stimulation: VR can offer mentally stimulating activities to help slow cognitive decline.
- Pain management: Studies have shown that VR therapy can help reduce pain perception, making it a valuable tool for chronic pain patients.
- Multi use engagement systems like IN2L, It’s Never too late, and an Obie for seniors are great access vehicles for memory engagement at every cognitive level. Many locations have these technologies in place. Be sure to ask your Tailored Advisory Solutions Family Advisor for more information.
The future of more opportunities and joy in assisted living and memory care facilities communities is brighter than ever, thanks to these innovations that enhance the lives of our aging population. Tailored Advisory Solutions is committed to staying at the forefront of these advancements and helping families find the best care options for their loved ones. By embracing these cutting-edge technologies and care practices, we can provide residents with a higher quality of life and peace of mind for their families.