Assisted living facility transports Alzheimer’s patients back to 1940s

Blue skies, green grass, birds chirping and a gentle hum of a waterfall in the distance. This isn’t always what you envision when you think of an assisted living facility. However, this is exactly what you see, hear and feel when you step into Svayus, the building where nursing home facility Lantern of Madison houses their Alzheimer’s patients.

What makes the 22-resident house in Ohio unique is how the building’s interior courtyards and corridors, including the front facade of the rooms were designed to look like tiny houses with front porches overlooking a golf course. The design is deliberately reminiscent of a small town in the 1930s and 1940s.

The idea behind this assisted living facility is to make patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia feel more safe, secure, and at home.

Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients are usually able to retain memories from when they were 21 years old and younger, despite losing short-term memories, which is why CEO Jean Makesh went with a 1940s vibe.

Makesh and his team thought out even the smallest of details. At night, the blue sky darkens, porch lights turn on at every resident’s door, even the wall color has a therapeutic benefit. Different therapeutic aromas are pumped into the building, like peppermint and frankincense.

The idea for the facility came Makesh, who is also an occupational therapist, after he learned that controlled environments help reduce anger, anxiety, and depression among dementia patients.

Residents take classes every day where they relearn basic living functions like getting dressed.

Svayus is an attempt to take residents back in time, to enable them to embrace everything around them, says Makesh.

Two new Lantern facilities will open their doors to residents in October, Lantern of Chagrin Valley and Lantern of Saybrook.  The new sites will be similar to Madison, by will feature more natural light.


Photo courtesy of Lantern of Chagrin Valley Facebook




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