How can I, as an interior redesigner, help to transition someone’s loved one to a memory care community? Furthermore, it is even more challenging when the Power of Attorney (POA) is a cousin who lives several states away. This was difficult for me because I did not have the ability to speak with the loved one directly prior to arranging the space. I have never designed for someone without the benefit of seeing their current space, inquiring about favorite colors and just getting to know them. The information was scarce and one day prior to installation day; I received three pieces of artwork, two framed personal photos, a chair and a floor lamp from her home. It was imperative that I incorporate these items into the space. Most noteworthy, this was less about design and much more about the person.
Memory Care Design Requires Combining Cherished and New Items
The POA touched my heart as he shared a story about his cousin illustrating how she was a very devout Catholic. His goal was to provide her with a nice place to live and he entrusted me to make it happen. It was a privilege and an honor to assist him. Most of all, I am happy to say that he stated I exceeded his expectations!
What did his loved one think? Well, she came to the room as I was still working. It was our second meeting yet, she introduced herself. I told her my name; consequently, she then remembered she met me the day before. She asked me what I was doing. I told her I was arranging the room for her. She told me she liked it and loved the colors. The wreath on the door was beautiful, she stated. I showed her where I hung her pictures and she told me which one was her favorite. She then left saying she would get out of the way and let me get on with it. Hence, my goal was to create a warm and inviting space that one day will make her feel at home.
If you have a loved one that requires an assisted living, memory care or nursing home placement and need information, please know there are experts to help you. You can contact A Place for Mom, a free national referral service with local representatives that know the senior market and can provide guidance. Also, visit the senior communities you are interested in which are staffed with caring and informative experts. Finally, once you have chosen a community and need design assistance, I am here for you. Call me, I would love to help!