Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Living With Alzheimer's

Reveals how the conditions of patients at Living Room, the
Alzheimer's wing at Prospect Park Residence in Brooklyn, New York are
improved. Amenities offered to the patients; Goal of the Living Room;
What could help stimulate their memories.

RESIDENCE

The Living Room, the Alzheimer's wing at Prospect Park Residence in Brooklyn, New York, hopes to Improve patients' futures by reminding them of their pasts.

The wing, a smell community that some 23 residents call home, is decorated with colorful murals and holds a beauty salon, Ice cream parlor and library. Memory boxes, containing photographs and other memorabilia from the residents' younger days, hang outside each apartment.

The goal of the Living Room and similar Alzheimer's residences Is to use physical environment to help patients feel connected to others and to their own lives, even as a disorienting disease sets In. "A decor that is reminiscent of their earlier years can help stimulate their memory," says William Senders, coordinator of nursing homes at the New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

Gayatri Devi, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University, agrees. "Patients with Alzheimer's disease often withdraw, fearing embarrassment In social situations," she says. "Settings that promote communication about familiar topics can reduce their levels of isolation."

ILLUSTRATION (COLOR)