This Ohio-based assisted living facility is artfully enabling its residents to relive their warm, youthful memories via its creative interior design. With three locations in Madison, South Russell, and Saybrook, The Lantern lays out its indoor centers to appear like the cozy neighborhoods of the 1940’s, with its hall carpets mimicking sidewalks and grass, interspersed with brick columns and street lamps. The entryway to each resident’s room is surrounded by a nostalgic architectural facade, complete with a porch equipped with rocking chairs. There’s even a fiber-optic ceiling, Instead of a boring panel ceiling, residents look up and see a digital sky, which grows dimmer late in the day to help keep their biological clocks in tune.

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The Lantern’s CEO, Jean Makesh, first dreamed up the concept while working as an occupational therapist at a larger chain of nursing homes. He knew that patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s typically hold onto their earliest memories as they lose their later-life recollections, and he wanted a way to provide them with a comfortable, controlled environment that truly felt like home. In between traditional rehabilitation appointments, this layout allows inhabitants to knock on their neighbors’ doors or engage in community activities by ambling down their familiar “blocks.”

The sentiment behind this living facility isn’t just heartwarming, it’s backed by science, too. Extensive research suggests that the emphasis on physical surroundings can support the treatment and improvement of memory loss in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

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