Designing housing for the cognitively impaired–where’s the telecare?

Steve Moran’s Senior Housing Forum is hosting a lively discussion on designing communities for what this Editor would term the cognitively impaired, euphemistically called ‘memory care’ here in the States, then often bluntly categorized as dementia care. This concentrates on one CEO’s journey in designing a new memory care community, The Cottages at Cedar Run (Wisconsin) and how he utilized ideas developed in the US (Eden Alternative, Green Houses — Bill Thomas’ work, TTA 30 July) as well as the Dutch Dementia Village [TA 22 Dec 12] The architect’s video still strikes this Editor as full of nice touches (the courtyard a la the Dutch, but not as spacious or a center of activity; the padded window seats) but still institutional feeling (the cottages have a nice look but need more individualization to aid resident identification; how a resident/family can personalize the cottage); all in the right direction. The comments expand upon many points, but what is really missing here is the integration of technologyhow telecare and unobtrusive health monitoring could be fully integrated into gait monitoring, location, activity levels (particularly at night), managing ‘sundowning’ and mood changes with weather changes, games and socialization (GrandCare, GeriJoy, It’s Never 2 Late and similar). Architectural video (07:48) and sound clip with Steven Jaberg, the CEO of Cedar Community on his inspirations.

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  1. Agreed — and this is 2013 — when so much technology has been available for so long — and can offer a more enriched life connecting with long distance families, safer with remote monitoring, healthier with monitored chronic conditions.

    An architect designing a private home today would think about wireless networks, internet access points and their placement, so that the homeowner could connect whatever, wherever.

    Still not top of mind in senior housing — even though the architect and executives all have technology-enabled homes?