Award-Winning Memory Care

About Project:

Main Campus features two award-winning memory care units, St. James and St. John's, focusing on environmental stimulation and sensory-connections.

The Perry Lutheran Home recognized that lack of stimulation and engagement is a prime factor contributing to depression, boredom, and aggressive behavior, especially for seniors with dementia. When renovating its memory care wing, Perry Lutheran Home built life-skill stimulation areas to appeal to different resident needs.

St. James memory care wing boast many home-like and daily routine areas. Dad’s Garage features a partial vehicle interior, changeable community scene for driving simulation, and a mechanic’s work area. Main Street boasts an enclosed deck with flowers and greenery for residents to relax and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. The mock kitchen helps seniors recall memories of cooking a family dinner. A secretary’s station is situation with a desk, typewriter and office supplies allowing for paperwork and filing. The nursery provides an area complete with changing table, bassinet, and baby dolls to emulate child care.

These St. James life-skill stimulation areas help implement a person-centered care approach fostering a home-like environment. Perry Lutheran Home won the LeadingAge Iowa, 2014 Best Innovation in Aging Services & Housing award, for St. James memory care unit.

When planning the redesign of the advanced stage dementia unit, St. John’s, the team at Perry Lutheran Home focused on how a lack of simulation and engagement for residents drives depression, boredom, and increased behaviors. The sensory connected environment makes this redesign unique with the goal to tap into the resident’s meaningful memories and create an individualized homelike, peaceful environment. The strongest early memories are church, school, and home so the Perry Lutheran Home team set out to recreate an environment to tap into the hippocampus, a portion of the brain that stores one’s fondest memories.

St. John’s features a church, an old general store, a one-room country school, a parlor, authentic dining room and kitchen, and several screens that can be programmed with various outdoor or engagement scenes. There is an outside deck containing a sensory garden. Another unique feature is the snoezelen area where special lights, materials, and aromatherapy help to reduce anxiety.

Behaviors, falls, and the use of psychotropics have decreased immensely since the redesign of St. John’s. The details make it more like home, and staff love to see relief and joy on family member’s faces when they see their loved ones content, happy, and responding to them.

Perry Lutheran Home won the LeadingAge Iowa, 2015 Best Innovation in Aging Services & Housing award, for St. John's memory care unit.

Posted on:

May 9, 2017

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