NORTH COUNTY TIMES
IRVINE, Calif. – Irvine-based Capstone Studios, Inc. completed the interior design space planning and implementation of Vista Gardens, a Dementia and Alzheimer’s memory care facility in Vista, California. Capstone was hired to create a facility that was inviting to new residents and their families who are often part of the decision-making process.
“We were asked to help create a warm and friendly facility for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients,” explained Jo-Anne Redwood, principal of Capstone Studios. “Additionally, we wanted to include dedicated areas where residents would enjoy participating in a range of activities.” Capstone’s role included researching the “best and the worst” of assisted living communities. Redwood said, “We wanted to learn which amenities made these types of facilities successful.” Capstone advised Vista Gardens about such interior features as furnishings, colors and décor. Redwood continued,
“We wanted to create a home that was fresh, cozy and comfortable, but not too much like home because of the realities of dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Many of our residents use wheelchairs or are at risk of falling; others may be subject to bowel accidents.”
Capstone, for example, suggested Vista Gardens install “memory boxes” in front of each resident’s door. A memory box is a glass container in which can be placed family photos, knickknacks, or other personal items which can trigger the memory of a resident. Another suggested special feature was hand ledges along the corridors which a resident can use to steady him or herself while walking. Hand rails, in contrast, can cause a falling senior to break an arm. Tips came from the Building Industry Association, developers of retirement homes and medical professionals.
Harry Crowell, who was recently nominated for “Person of the Year” for the 55+ Sage Awards 2012 is Vista Gardens’ developer, and said, “I’ve had friends develop problems with dementia and Alzheimer’s and be forced to move into retirement homes. So, creating a facility which provides the optimal environment for such people is a personal passion with me. I love our new facility.”