Imagine taking a walk on a sunny day. Perhaps you are outside in a park. The wind is gently teasing your hair, with warm summer wafts. You see a colourful balloon free itself from the lakeside vendor in the park, and make its escape into the afternoon sky. Upwards, it drifts, until it hits a wooden beam in the ceiling. Wait a minute, what ceiling? Aren’t we outside? Well, not quite.
Care Connect has genuine concerns about a viral news story that hit social media recently.
Feel-good digital space, Upworthy reported that Lantern Assisted Living Facility in the United States was going against the grain in the aged care space, with new facilities designed to ‘imitate’ the outside world.
The site reported that, “One man turned nursing home design on its head when he created this stunning facility”, by asking the simple question, “What if we design an environment that looks like outside?”
Care Connect agrees that this is stunning. We feel that many older Australians would be stunned that a sunrise should be created inside, when they have been enjoying the real thing outside their entire lives. We think Australians would be stunned that smells and sounds are piped into an artificial environment, when they are readily available for free in the real world.
While many people are celebrating this new design as innovative, Care Connect proposes an alternative. Real life, real experiences and real homes. Peoples’ own homes.
“Our concern is that evidence suggests that people with dementia admitted to care facilities don’t necessarily have better health outcomes, in terms of life expectancy.”, said Paul Ostrowski, CEO at Care Connect.
Upworthy goes on to report that, “Instead of rooms or units, each resident gets a “home” on a quiet little indoor street reminiscent of the neighborhoods many of them grew up in.”
“The reality is that it’s not really the street they grew up in. We don’t want to see Australians living an artificial version of their own life, especially if they are at a stage where they could be living it for real.
“We know that 70% of Australians want to remain living at home for life, but only 14% do. We intend to help make this possible for anyone who wants it.
“Care Connect doesn’t want to see Australians in fake houses, on fake streets, as they age. We want to see them living life to the fullest and enjoying everything life has to offer, in their own homes.
“We are not saying that facilities like this have no place at all. We understand that people experiencing dementia in it’s advanced stages, may face security and safety concerns at home, and may benefit from living in a care facility, however, we don’t want to see this as the first option for Australians. We believe in adapting peoples’ real homes and daily routines by linking them to great quality services and independent advice.
“That is why we offer only the best high quality services and genuine independent advice, because nobody should have their dreams and goals cut off by an artificial ceiling. Our Client Advisers are truly creative solution experts and they are ready to smash those ceilings that are holding you back.” said Mr. Ostrowski.