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Why a Calm Environment Matters in Memory Care

January 18, 2022

Here at Story Cottage, we pride ourselves on maintaining an intimate and calm environment for our residents. A calm environment can have a major positive impact on those suffering from memory loss, and all of our local Indianapolis homes were custom-designed with this in mind. Learn more about how we provide a calm and comforting place for clients to live, and how you can adopt the same techniques for your loved one with memory loss. 

Keep calm by reducing excess noise

Excess noise can be very jarring for someone with memory loss, agitating and even disorienting them if the noise is too loud or reverberating. You can employ sound-dampening furnishings to help reduce noise at home, such as rugs, curtains and soft blankets. At Story Cottage, our Indianapolis and Carmel residences are situated in quiet neighborhoods to reduce ambient noise from the street. We also only maintain 8-10 private bedrooms for residents in each home, meaning that noise stimulation from peers is kept to a minimum as well. 

Utilize the outdoors for a calm environment

When a property is not exposed to very much outside noise, the great outdoors can provide a perfect retreat and calming effect in memory care. Private outdoor spaces, such as shelters and gardens, can give older adults a place to rest and enjoy nature. At Story Cottage, we’ve taken great care in the landscaping of our grounds, including easy-to-navigate walking paths for residents to use with the help of a staff member. With the city’s smallest resident-to-caregiver ratio at just 4:1, you’ll know that your loved one is in good hands no matter where they are on our property. 

Avoid confusion by eliminating reflections

When decorating spaces for someone with memory loss, it’s important to take into consideration pieces that might cause them distress. Reflective surfaces can cause confusion for a myriad of reasons. Someone with a memory condition may not recognize themselves in a mirror, and could think that a stranger is watching them. Other reflective surfaces, including windows at night, can cause a mirror-like effect or a glare that makes it difficult to see. Likewise, floors that are too shiny could cause a glare or appear wet to someone with dementia, so it may be best to use carpeting or well-secured rugs where possible. A custom-designed space, like our Story Cottage residences, are some of the safest options for a calm environment if you are unsure where your loved one with memory loss should live. 

Add better lighting for a calming effect

Another important element to designing a calm environment in memory care is lighting. Failing eyesight is a big concern for any aging senior, but can become even more of a problem for someone with dementia or memory loss. You should use natural light as much as possible, and high-wattage bulbs when natural light is not an option. When placing lights and lamps, consider where shadows may form, as large, dark shadows can be intimidating to someone suffering from memory loss. You can also use high-contrast for items that must be easily seen, such as light tablecloths with dark dishes and silverware, or a dark colored toilet seat in a light colored bathroom. At Story Cottage, our dependable caregivers have extensive memory care experience, easily knowing when and how to help residents navigate their home. 

If you are ready to learn more about the calm environment that Story Cottage can provide your loved one, contact us today online or at 317-449-5696 to schedule a complimentary consultation for your family.