For people living with Alzheimer's or dementia, life can be exceptionally frustrating. A typical retirement home may have plenty of Alzheimer's and dementia patients, but not the therapeutic atmosphere needed to make their residents feel as comfortable as possible. One tiny home village in Chagrin Falls, Ohio has specifically designed a community to bring comfort to aging residents.
Recently spotlighted in Country Living and many others, the Lantern Of Chagrin Valley is a tiny home village designed to be nostalgic of the homes and environment of the 1930's and 40's. Because patients typically only remember memories from their younger days, each house is strategically designed to reflect the style of houses from the decades their residents grew up in. Aromatherapy is also used to spritz the air with smells of frankincense, peppermint and more.
According to the News-Herald, even the color palette reflects the most popular color schemes from the time period.
Residents are also enrolled in various classes and activities to help them normalize their daily lives. Some include instruction on how to dress themselves and time for games.
Jean Makesh is the CEO of The Lantern of Chagrin Valley and others in the chain. Makesh is an occupational therapist that employed techniques from work in the field to help Lantern's occupants control their moods. The interactive technology includes everything from chirping birds to timed sunrises and sunsets. The project launched in June of 2014 and is inspiring similar communities all around Ohio. Makesh launched the first of the communities in 2012 in Madison and doesn't plan on stopping.
Makesh told Cleveland.com, "I take them back to those memories. I create a time capsule. It enables them to embrace everything around them."