Individualized care in a thoughtfully designed environment can improve residents’ lives in ways that can be measured: fewer injuries, less medications required, less sleep disturbances and less wandering.
From the beginning Wellspring Senior Living, in both Powell and Sevierville, was designed to be home—to be “environment as medicine” for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
“Home is more than a place. It is as much a way of being as it is a location.”
—Margaret Calkins, I.D.E.A.S, Inc.
Daniel and Kendel Levy of DKLEVY, who provided architectural and interior design services for Wellspring, have created a place for community living within a home environment. Daniel explains that “each space is designed to provide a familiar and enriched, comfortable experience from the vaulted ceiling in the spacious dining room to the intimate gardens.” A balance of private and community space “encourages family interactions and activities,” all the while focusing on the abilities and needs of residents.
Kendel continued this focus in detail throughout the interior by carefully planning “to assist residents both physically and psychologically.”
A Therapeutic and Safe Space
The Wellspring building wraps around a protected outdoor space, helping residents feel less trapped and more open to natural rhythms of nature, day and night. Safe, efficient and flexible indoor space helps staff provide better care and services.
Daniel designed the overall layout, with a single central corridor, to encourage movement. (See floor plan below.) The corridor creates an indoor path, which residents can walk or wheel along without fear of getting lost or feeling anxious about which way to go. Care stations have a clear view of the corridor, should residents need help. The circular path always leads back to familiar community areas and to each resident’s room identified by personal photos and memorabilia that say “welcome home.”
- The Wellspring layout provides space for several activities at the same time. This enables staff to tailor both indoor and outdoor activities for varying levels of cognitive ability.
Other design features include one-level access from a covered entry, natural light and open views, no elevated thresholds, arthritis-friendly door handles, latch-free closet doors, build-in furniture for resident rooms, handrails along the corridor, bathroom pocket doors, ADA-approved showers with fold-down seats, and auto-controlled thermostats to protect residents from setting room temperatures that are not safe. Bathrooms are easily visible from anywhere in the resident’s room, reducing the confusion with space often created by dementia.
Interior Design, Fine Art and Memory Care
For the Wellspring interior, Kendel chose a transitional style “to incorporate the comforts of home.” We worked “to provide comfortable, relaxed environments for each resident’s need,” she explains, “whether it is a quiet space for reprieve or a relaxed area to meet and socialize with others.”
The focus is on “soft, calming colors” to “sooth residents and help quell aggression or negative thoughts,” Kendel explains. There is a pleasant contrast between walls and floors for safety. Furniture in community areas is stable and sturdy. As much as possible, electrical outlets are concealed. Accessories were chosen to partner with memory care.
Along the Wellspring corridor, Kendel created an art gallery featuring works by local photographer Paul Hassell. “This is one of the more meaningful projects I’ve been invited into in a while,” Paul says. His exquisite nature photographs are a rich visual experience for residents and their guests. Also, they are grouped to encourage cognitive activity as they stimulate observation, invite comparison, and open windows to the past.
The photographs below are examples from the Wellspring collection of Paul’s work. Each row is a group of three images. Give cognitive activity a try! Look at the photographs one row at a time. Ask: How are these three images alike? How are they different? What do they remind me of? To view larger images, click on the first photograph, then “start.”
Photographs: Copyright Paul Hassell / LightFinds.us
DKLEVY Architecture and Design / dklevydesign.com
We invite you to visit the gallery . . . see the design features . . . and feel the environment of Wellspring. Come by for a tour! Call 865.362.5398 – Powell or 865.365.4360 – Sevierville.