Designing for Memory Loss
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We all live with the fact that someday our loved ones will need to have help with day to day life and that we will too. As of right now there is a generally negative feeling towards moving out of one’s home and into an assisted living facility, and eventually into a nursing home. There is an added anxiety when having to look into memory loss facilities. These institutions are taking peoples' independence and in return creating a glum reality for people who are already suffering. The current pandemic that our world is in, and Covid 19 being the deadliest towards our elderly population, there is another challenge added to designing for an elderly population. With all of this in mind I began researching with the goal in mind of designing the ideal living arrangement for the elderly that suffer from memory loss whether that be Alzheimer's, or dementia. To achieve this goal, I have a couple questions that need to be answered, such as, how can a space’s design promote independence, and a sense of community? Can a design be effective in deterring memory loss? How can there be a safe design that is separate yet involved in the community? How can a design allow for people to visit safely in a pandemic? In my effort to answer these questions I started with exploring some case studies which detail the current issues of today's assisted living facilities. My final design is drawn from my research and investigation into how to create the ideal living arrangement for the elderly population and those who suffer from memory loss. This research topic will explore the down falls of the current design of memory loss institutions, and how we can build a better option for our elderly population.