A showcase project for residents with Alzheimer’s

In the small town of Borohrá­dek in the Czech Repu­blic, the­re is a show­ca­se pro­ject for seni­or citi­zens with Alzheimer’s.

The buil­ding its­elf is spe­ci­al­ly desi­gned to meet the needs of peo­p­le with dementia.

It con­sists of three wings, each housing an inde­pen­dent living com­mu­ni­ty. Each wing is home to eight resi­dents, simi­lar to living in their own house. Each com­mu­ni­ty has its own spa­cious com­mon room whe­re meals can be shared. This extre­me­ly fami­li­ar living envi­ron­ment allows resi­dents with Alzheimer’s to find their way around in the best pos­si­ble way.

On the ground flo­or, the three wings meet at a spa­cious ent­rance hall that can be used for events with all resi­dents. Acti­vi­ties such as dog the­ra­py, cera­mics and pain­ting work­shops, as well as regu­lar super­vi­si­on ses­si­ons with care­gi­vers and resi­dents, take place here. Addi­tio­nal­ly, the­re is a mas­sa­ge room with light the­ra­py for depres­si­on in the ent­rance area, which can be used by both resi­dents and care­gi­vers. Objects and pic­tures from the past are deli­bera­te­ly used to acti­va­te the resi­dents’ memo­ries and sti­mu­la­te conversations.

Pri­va­cy and inde­pen­dence are great­ly valued.

This is why the mana­ging direc­tor, Karel Vacek, put a lot of thought into deve­lo­ping a con­cept that opti­mal­ly sup­ports life and work in a care faci­li­ty for Alzheimer’s pati­ents. Part of the con­cept is the Sen­s­Flo­or assis­tance sys­tem. Hid­den under the flo­o­ring in all bed­rooms, the sen­sor sys­tem wat­ches over its resi­dents. If someone falls in their room, the sys­tem imme­dia­te­ly detects it and auto­ma­ti­cal­ly calls a care­gi­ver for help, wit­hout the resi­dents having to press any but­tons they might not remem­ber. The assis­tance sys­tem is invi­si­bly instal­led in the flo­or, not dis­tur­bing the living envi­ron­ment or con­fu­sing the residents.

The care­gi­vers espe­ci­al­ly app­re­cia­te the assis­tance sys­tem during the night when only one staff mem­ber is respon­si­ble for all three resi­den­ti­al groups. In the foy­er, the­re is a huge screen dis­play­ing the Sen­s­Flo­or sta­ti­on ter­mi­nal with a brief over­view of all rooms. Based on the color of each room field, they can imme­dia­te­ly see whe­ther a resi­dent is in bed or has got­ten up. The night shift can then check the­se rooms spe­ci­fi­cal­ly and accom­pa­ny the resi­dents to the toi­let or keep them com­pa­ny to help them fall asleep, depen­ding on the situa­ti­on. If one of the seni­ors gets lost and acci­den­tal­ly enters the wrong bed­room, it is also dis­play­ed on the sta­ti­on ter­mi­nal. This is a reassu­ring fee­ling for the staff during the day and night. The work here is enjoya­ble, and none of the staff mem­bers want to be wit­hout Sen­s­Flo­or in their job any­mo­re. Mr. Vacek, the mana­ging direc­tor, also noti­ces this: “Of cour­se, we have a long wai­ting list for our rooms. But we were also able to quick­ly fill all of our open posi­ti­ons. I care very much about satis­fied employees. They are cru­cial for smooth ope­ra­ti­on, a plea­sant atmo­sphe­re, and hap­py resi­dents. We are curr­ent­ly plan­ning the con­s­truc­tion of ano­ther nur­sing home and will also install Sen­s­Flo­or there.”

More references