5 criteria for dementia-friendly hotels

Feeling stuck at home? Here’s a guide to dementia-friendly travel with your loved one. You can do it!

This article is a re-post from Alzlive.com. Check them out for more travel tips and information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Do your pre-trip sleuthing to ensure your lodgings are safe and sound for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Not all hotel rooms are created equal! Here are five features to look for or request when booking travel in the United States, Canada or even further afield, if you are adventurous. These amenities provide a safer, better home-sweet-home experience for patients and caregivers.
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Tour Review! Nursing Home of the Future (Fremtidensplejehjem)

January, 2014, a new residence and care home for aging adults opened in Nørresundby, Denmark (just across the fjord from Aalborg). It’s called Fremtidensplejehjem, which means Nursing Home of the Future, and it’s a new facility that is based on sensory stimulation, keeping active/exercise, and socialization. It incorporates new design, and open and social use of space, and high technologies.

I have been attending public and academic meetings in the community about the Fremtidensplejehjem for about the past 2 or 3 years, so have had a good idea of what they envisioned. I was studying welfare technologies specific to dementia care at Aalborg University, so this new building was particularly interesting for me. Yes, I applied for a job there when they were opening, but, unfortunately was not one of the lucky chosen. Part of the reason could be that they are not focusing on dementia care in Fremtidens – of course they know that they will have residents with dementia (in Denmark, around 85% of those in institutional care have some form of dementia), but they did not adjust the facility to specifically accommodate them. I think this might be motivated by their plan to later build a Dementia Nursing Home of the Future (plans are for this building to open in 2017).

Even though I don’t have paid work there, I live quite close and have grown fond of using their entrance area (with plenty of tables, free wifi, sunlight, and free coffee as my “free range” office. I take my lap top and books, set up at one of the tables, and draw inspiration from the surroundings. I must say, so far, all the staff and residents I have encountered in my “free range” office have been absolutely accommodating and helpful, and it seems as if they also enjoy that people from the community use the public space – it brings a different kind of life to a “nursing home” when it is also a space that people meet up for coffee, for visiting with friends (who may or may not live in the institution), for “free range” working, and for bringing a bit more of the community into the community space. Although it hasn’t happened yet, I imagine when I get into some writers block or stuck on a problem, a leisurely walk along the fjord will get the creative juices flowing again.

Thursday, March 20, 2014, I attended a guided tour of Fremtidens, hosted by Alzheimer Foreningen, the Danish Alzheimer’s Association. The tour was led by a PhD student who has been involved with the project for the past 3 years (I didn’t know they had PhDs or students working on the project – which is a little weird since I was one of maybe 5 people that I knew of at the University studying dementia care and the only one at the University studying technologies for dementia care), and we got to see the IT helpdesk (offered free to the public to help older adults figure out their online services used for banking, healthcare, and other governmental services), the wide hallways, the gym and rehabilitation rooms (also offered free to the public over age 65), common areas such as the Orangium (a space where the residents can hang out with an excellent view of the harbor), kitchens where families can come to cook meals together and the residents make bread on the weekends, the media room (for watching movies, listening to music, or reading – also with a fantastic patio overlooking the harbor), and a few other things.
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Keeping active!

We are having gorgeous weather today in Copenhagen. It’s getting to be that time of year when everyone wants to be outside in the sunshine and warm temperatures. In this post, I have compiled a few resources to give you inspiration to be active and engaged in your life and to HAVE FUN!

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5 great hotels for traveling with dementia

This is a re-post from AlzLive. It highlights 5 places to stay in the UK if you are planning to travel with someone with dementia.

TOP HOTELS

by YUKI HAYASHI

Five great vacation homes-away-from-home for you and your relative with dementia.

When it comes to offering the services required for safe vacationing with a dementia patient, the U.K. is years ahead of most countries. It’s critically important that caregivers, who are often on call 24 hours a day, get a break for their own health and sanity. For that reason–not to mention the breathtaking scenery, historic tours and R+R potential–consider going across the pond for your next vacation. Here are five U.K. destinations we love. 

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How to really piss-off older people with bad advertising

As I was writing my post on The Rise of Aging-Friendly Stores, I came across this little gem (article below).

When working on starting up a business a few months ago, my business partner and I had a great discussion with Aging2.0 co-founder Stephen Johnston. We discussed how marketing with terms like “silver, age-friendly, 50+, and elderly” are not good to use, mostly because people want to be thought of as consumers, not an age group. As he said, “senior doesn’t sell.”

But we were running into problems with how people would find our services (consulting with businesses to make their electronic products and services more age-friendly). We wanted to use principles of Universal Design, which, in a nutshell, is designing so that all people, regardless of age or disability could use a product or service. And, while the companies may have a better understanding of how Universal Design can be applied, we still weren’t sure how to let aging adults know that we were making sure products and services were specifically for them.

Well, anyway, this article is a great addition to the conversation on marketing towards aging adults. A guide of what NOT to do!

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Shopping we all can enjoy, the rise of aging-friendly stores

I came across the following article this morning. It’s about a grocery store in Eau Claire, Wisconsin that has become dementia-friendly, in partnership with their local Aging and Disability Resource Center and the global Purple Angel Campaign.

Inspired, I did a bit more digging around on the internet, and wrote this post about how communities and businesses are becoming more age-friendly and dementia-friendly. Examples from New York, Wisconsin, the UK, Germany, and Japan are highlighted.

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Good Practices for Active and Healthy Aging

Launch of an EU-wide repository of good practices supporting active and healthy ageing

March 09, 2015 – 09:00

Europe is ageing rapidly. To address the challenges posed by this unprecented demographic change, European local and regional authorities, universities, civil society organisations and industries, have already developed and implemented a large number of initiatives in the fields of public services, healthcare, ICT, transport, housing, accessibility, and social participation. Today, the AFE-INNOVNET Network is taking the opportunity of the first EU Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing to launch a Europe-wide repository set up to gather and share interesting initiatives and help make population ageing an opportunity for Europe’s economic and social growth. Learn from existing initiatives and share yours as well!

With more than 256 members today, the AFE-INNOVNET is an EU-funded Thematic Network aimed at supporting innovation in the field of age-friendly environments, i.e. the adaptation of our social and physical environments to our needs as we age, according to the WHO approach. Launched in February 2014, this network is contributing to the European Innovation Partnership on active and healthy ageing by creating an EU-wide community of stakeholders willing to implement a holistic approach to active and healthy ageing.

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