Truman Show for Dementia?!

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.

Memory Care + Feline Care

Catalina Care has found a way to mix memory care with everyone's favorite pet: kittens. Located in Oro Valley Arizona, Catalina Care is a memory care only location, owned by Frontier Management LLC. The skeptic in me wants to say, "Playing with kittens. That's a one-trick-pony! They just have a great marketing team." The truth is, this place has only received its recognition due to its continued positive record. A 2017 Arizona Daily Star favorite, it's clear they're doing their best to provide topnotch memory care. Senior Advisor puts them at 3 stars. Digging deeper the complaints stem from a now let-go administrator, or trivial things that don't put residents at risk or endanger them. I've worked at great communities and horrible ones. This place clearly is doing its best to stay in the 80+% range of good communities. 

In any case, take a look, enjoy positive vibes, and consider asking a memory care administrator you may know if this is an option in your town. 

For more information on Catalina Springs, you can find them here.