The Lantern is creating assisted living and memory care facilities that break down the barriers between reality and fantasy. As their website and the below video show, these memory care communities are attempting to recreate entire neighborhoods underneath one florescent-sky roof. Looking at their promo video's, one can't help but to feel like its all an Ohio version of the Truman Show. Are there mailmen? A boy who breaks window panes? Alley Cats? Senior care is consistently spoken of to be in a "transitional" period, but I'm hoping this is not where it's leading. The concept is not only dangerous for memory care residents (imagine a moment of lucidity, only to realize your clouds are painted panels of fluorescent lights and the path outside your home leads to a wall painted green), but its disrespectful to the person with the disease.
We are often told to "enter into their world" but this becomes us attempting to create their imagination for them. Aging in dignity doesn't look like this. Branded as a "home inside a home" would allow me to respect the idea more, but this version seems callous and mean. The devils advocate inside me says, "These are all in Ohio. Weather conditions don't allow for seniors to have year-round neighborhoods to walk through like the southern states. This is an answer to that." I still don't buy it. Operational costs must be off the charts for these places and logistically it must be crazy attempting to keep up the facade. In the end, I think this is one concept that won't be around by 2020.