According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, depression affects nearly 20% of American seniors. Those most at risk include those who have one or more chronic conditions, are disabled, or are becoming increasingly dependent on others for their care.
Because of this risk, those of us who design facilities for older people do our very best to create an environment conducive to joy. But what elements produce joy?
A study published in The Gerontologist set out to answer just that question.
Researchers examined the correlation between different environments and depression. The features of a facility that most impacted mood were the opportunity for socialization, and the promotion of as much independence as possible.
But what about the environment itself? The results were not what one might expect.
The decor of the facilities had little effect on the mood of the residents. The single physical factor that improved mood? Access to the outdoors. While some facilities might be situated in picturesque settings, if the residents do not have access to the outdoors, they are more likely to feel depressed. Barriers to access might include steep steps and uneven footing.
At Tower Lodge Care Center, in Wall, NJ, we created an environment designed to maximize residents’ feelings of joy and well-being. We believe in restorative care and maintain a completely step-free facility to boost each resident’s potential for function and mobility. We have a spacious and busy activity room, and our Social Services Department ensures a variety of activities for residents to choose from, and engage in as independently as possible.
And what about the outdoors? Ah! We take special pride in our large, easily accessible patio and pastoral setting. Residents enjoy the not only the flora, but also the fauna of the area, which includes such wildlife as deer and rabbits.
Oh, and our decor? Even if it isn’t a decisive factor, we made sure that our residence is tastefully decorated and homelike. Because nothing but the best is good enough for our residents, we carefully choose every aspect of our home — from the carpeting, to the landscaping, to the hiring of only the best-trained and most compassionate caregivers — with the sole purpose of increasing our residents’ joy in life.
Or come see for yourself! Contact us at 732-681-1400, or by clicking here.