Moving into a retirement home can be a very scary idea. The hospital-like environment can bring us down and remind us how we’re not that independent anymore. Well, this nursing home in Ohio wants to do things differently: with a fun and lively neighborhood layout, it makes its residents feel more at home!

The inside of this retirement home looks incredible!
The inside of this retirement home looks incredible! Source: Spotlight Stories 

This cozy and welcoming nursing home pictured above is one of the three Ohio-based retirement homes called The Lantern, which are located in Madison, Chagrin Valley, and Saybrook, and are designed specifically for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

On the outside it looks like your normal nursing home, nothing really stands out. The real magic happens inside: with a nostalgic design completely out of the ordinary. The interior design of the facility reminds us of a friendly 1940s community, helping Alzheimer's and dementia patients feel more at home.

The floors are painted or covered in carpet to look like grass.
The floors are painted or covered in carpet to look like grass. Source: Facebook | Lantern of Chagrin Valley 

The assisted living facility looks like small houses leading out to a golf course. Each room has a miniature porch, where residents can sit on rocking chairs and chat with their neighbors. With an incredible attention to detail, down to paint schemes and interior design reminiscent from the 1930s and ’40s, The Lantern is truly a unique facility.

The corridor floor is covered in a green grass-like carpet, and an array of sound effects - such as birds chirping - are played throughout the day to make the residents feel like they’re really going outside when they leave their room. There are also little street lamps and a fibre-optic ceiling, recreating a special daylight and starry sky atmosphere.

The nursing home even has street lamps!
The nursing home even has street lamps! Source: Facebook | Lantern of Chagrin Valley

Each room’s exterior is designed to look like a house from the 1930s and ’40s, in an effort to make its residents feel more welcome, reminding them of the homes they used to live in back in their childhood. This is especially important for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, since it triggers their memories and ensure the residents don’t feel shocked by their new environment.

“Every little thing you see, the wall color, the paint, actually has a therapeutic benefit, a therapeutic value,” CEO Jean Makesh told the News-Herald.

Makesh learned that controlled environments can lead to major reductions in anxiety, anger, and depression, so the trained occupational therapist, decided to create a facility that incorporated these ideas into a constructive experience, creating the perfect environment for these special patients so they can live in peace.

All the facilities have incredible attention to detail.
All the facilities have incredible attention to detail. Source: Facebook | Lantern of Madison

Before visitors, families, and employees enter the facility, they’re instructed to leave their world behind. The CEO says that the world they’re about to enter is “very different from their world.”

Most of the residents have Alzheimer’s disease, and as the disease progresses, people begin to revert back to their childhood, says Makesh. The friendly community serves as a something of a time capsule, recreating the feel and experiences these special patients may have once lived.

Look at these adorable porches!
Look at these adorable porches! Source: Facebook | Lantern Of Saybrook

“I take them back to those memories. I create a time capsule. It enables them to embrace everything around them,” Makesh told reporters.

Using this controlled setting and environment, the CEO believes he’ll be able to slow progression of similar diseases on a long term scale, bringing new hope to challenging age-related diseases.

The controlled setting helps residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The controlled setting helps residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Source: Facebook | Lantern of Chagrin Valley

The comfort provided to its residents isn’t just down to the design, though. The Lantern is focused on rehabilitation - with occupational therapists and psychotherapists on staff - and daily classes.

Besides core nursing and care services, the facility ensures the residents have plenty of activities to keep them busy and feeling happy, such as:

  • Family nights
  • Cooking club
  • Massages
  • Weekly shopping trips
  • Etc.

Plus, it’s always great to be able to walk out onto your porch and greet the neighbors.

Check out more photos of these lovely retirement homes:

Socializing is important!
Socializing is important! Source: Facebook | Lantern of Chagrin Valley
The residents have lots of fun activities!
The residents have lots of fun activities! Source: Facebook | Lantern of Chagrin Valley
Socializing is crucial to keep the mind healthy.
Socializing is crucial to keep the mind healthy. Source: Facebook | Lantern of Chagrin Valley
There’s even Christmas decorations!
There’s even Christmas decorations! Source: Facebook | Lantern of Chagrin Valley 
All the porches are decorated during the holidays.
All the porches are decorated during the holidays. Source: Facebook | Lantern of Saybrook

With a lovely and nostalgic neighborhood and plenty of therapeutic projects to keep you healthy and happy, moving to this kind of retirement home feels way less scary, doesn’t it?!

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