Human behavior specialists recognize how essential staying on a natural circadian rhythm and sleep cycle is to improving quality-of-life. An upset sleep cycle can lead to many health complications such as a loss of appetite, increase of hallucinations, agitation-related behaviors, paranoia, exaggerated suspicion and exhaustion.
Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It's also known as your sleep/wake cycle.
Advanced theories suggest that natural lighting spectrums offer significant benefits to individuals living with a form of dementia, and recent research studies are showing these hypothesis proving themselves to be true and are achievable and controllable through advancements in lighting technology.
The Moments features a uniquely therapeutic approach to lighting. We offer large, unobstructed second-story windows throughout the entire community to let in the maximum amount of natural light as possible, paired with a high-tech circadian lighting system in both of our Resident wings. Our lighting system provides high melanopic lux, increasing serotonin production during the day to help regulate our residents’ (and staff!) circadian rhythm and provide an energy and positivity boost. This lighting approach has shown marked improvements in supporting healthy daytime responses such as increased temperature and heart rate, strong appetite, and general improved cognitive function.
There is more at play than purely visual perception when it comes to the brightness of light – there is also a biological impact as well. The hormone melatonin (hence 'melanopic') is the key to our pattern of wakefulness and sleep – our circadian rhythm.
At night, the lighting system not only lowers the brightness, but also adjusts the melanopic level yet again by phasing out blue frequencies, reducing the flow of serotonin while increasing the production of melatonin (the two perform opposite jobs yet must work in harmony to keep the body balanced). The reduction of blue frequencies in the evening is perceived by the body as biological darkness and allows the body to function as it should at night — healing and sleeping calmly with lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Colors can be therapeutically beneficial or potential triggers for behaviors in dementia environments. Pigments, hues, values, tint, shades, chroma and perceived negative space or contrast voids can all impact how a person living with dementia perceives the world around them and need to be carefully monitored and controlled.
The Moments has taken great care to assure our specialized memory care environment is color sensory sensitive. Selections for colors of all surfaces and areas are taken into thoughtful consideration during the design process. Use of this color theory in practice is strategically implemented throughout our grounds to support our residents’ general sense of well-being.
VISUAL CUEING & WAYFINDING
We use visual cueing and wayfinding devices throughout The Moments to support a more easily navigated space, as well as to encourage residents to venture out, to explore and discover, to feel supported. and to enjoy a variety of settings within our broader community. Each Resident Suite exterior facade has custom siding and a uniquely designed mailbox to help discern one ‘address’ from the other, creating a sense of familiarity and location awareness. Carefully selected artworks and visually impactful vintage artifacts are places in permanent locations to help residents develop visual cues to that trigger familiarity and patterns of directional support.
The Moments offers a therapeutically rich arts program including watercolor and acrylic painting, ceramics, illustrated storytelling and hand-work including knitting, quilting, crafts. We maintain a space dedicated to artistic endeavors where residents are able to work on projects at their own pace while they are “in progress” all while enjoying daily social engagement with their friends and staff.
GUIDED NATURE IMAGERY
Our guided nature imagery program uses the visual and auditory powers of nature to help relieve stress, elevate mood and improve overall well-being. We provide a wide variety of nature-based settings that are combined with music, nature sounds or a gentle guided auditory meditation to help our residents experience the many benefits of this sensory soothing intervention.