Considerable consideration should be placed on the environment which people with Alzheimer’s, and other forms of Dementia, find themselves in. Here, we regard their environment as all immediate environs surrounding them that provide sensory stimulation, from their bedroom to their bathroom, from the kitchen to the lounge to the gardens to the tea garden, etc. Taking into account the way people with forms of Dementia interact with their environmental stimulation, we can form two robust groups:
1. Those who are still able to function in their environment relatively well, with the ability to perceive the sensory information that surrounds them, interpret and interact accordingly with it.
2. Those who are no longer able or only slightly able to function in their environment, no longer or hardly able to perceive the sensory information that surrounds them and no longer or hardly able to interpret and interact with that information.
As the disease progresses within the person, the person will most likely decline from group one to group two. But it should also be noted that it is very possible for medication and it’s drastic effects to drag a person from the first group into the second, rather abruptly. Upon the gradual alleviation and/or complete omission of such drugs, it is possible for an individual to shift back, from group two to group one. This cognitive improvement is a matter we, the Jura Care Team, have witnessed with individuals living at the Jura Care Village, respectively.
Studies show that a prolonged exposure to an enriching and stimulating environment can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s in the brain. (View Study) The study states that an environment that provides sufficient stimulation helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease from weakening communication within the brain’s memory center, which is responsible for short- and long-term memory. This is a very promising study backed by research, one that should encourage care homes to evaluate the adequacy of the environments they expose their residents to. Let us have a look at various environmental stimuli:
- The Jura Care Village is very fortunate to be positioned in such a stimulating environment in terms of natural beauty. This is an environmental aspect which impacts our residents very intrinsically, and allows for stimulation that could very well be described in philosophical terms.