We recently shared an article about an assisted living facility that is designed to look like a neighborhood, written by Caitlin Schneider of Mental_Floss. You can take a look at the article here. We had a lot of engagement when we shared this article, and it makes sense. Here is the powerful image that was included in the article, painting a picture of familiarity and that 'small town' feeling for those who may reside there.
We understand why this image struck a chord with so many. Often times, when clients contact us, it's because they want to stay in their own home, despite any physical or emotional challenges they may face. Anytime we are in the hospital or traveling, we usually can't wait to collapse into our own bed. So it makes sense that our job as caregivers is often to help our clients maintain their dignity and peace of mind, so they can stay in their home. But what happens when they no longer can do that?
Over the years, nursing homes have really gotten a bad reputation, with horror stories of abuse and neglect. We often see movies and shows that depict a discarded elderly person sitting in the corner of their new environment, with no engagement at all. But that's not definitely not the majority. Many times our Kind Companions are brought into nursing homes and assisted living facilities to help with various tasks or needs. Many of these places are managed by caring leaders and empathetic workers. We see the social activities and bright side to many of these. But often we hear those words 'I want to go home.' There was one client in particular who requested our help as she spent two weeks in the hospital recovering from an illness and surgery. Everyday she told us how much she missed her home. She talked about her sitting room where she knit blankets for her grandbabies, and her kitchen table that always had fresh flowers when her husband was living. She had such powerful memories in that home, and that is why she kept wishing she could be home.
But think about those whose memories are quickly fading, due to Alzheimer's or Dementia. Often times they are struggling to recall such memories. And that is why this neighborhood-like facility hits home for so many. It looks more like a home than a facility. There's a huge risk of wandering off if they live alone, especially in a busy neighborhood or city, and may find themselves unable to find their way back. And yet they still want that freedom to walk on their own, to explore or to enjoy nature. So for that we applaud the designers of this facility. Our Kind Companions is proud to offer the care to keep our clients in their homes, but recognize this isn't always possible for every client.