The Palace Group Offers Innovative Multi-sensory Environment at Newest Community

The Palace Group, owners and operators of 10 South Florida senior living communities, included an innovative multi-sensory environment in the company’s newest community, The Palace at Weston.

Residents in The Palace at Weston’s memory care neighborhood have use of a specially designed and innovative multi-sensory environment.

“Our team extensively researched the use of this type of environment and when The Palace Gardens in Homestead opened for memory care and assisted living, a multi-sensory room was included. We found it was well received and our residents responded to its use, so we wanted to include this at The Palace at Weston,” explained Zack Shaham, executive director of the community.

Multi-sensory environments were developed by two Dutch therapists, Jan Hulsegge and Ad Verheul, in the 1970s. While it can be used in a variety of settings, it has been very successful in increasing the comfort level with memory care residents. The room offers multi-sensory stimulation for relaxation and sensory experiences are created through projected calming images on the wall, sound and lighting, bubble tubes, tactile objects and aromatherapy.

In The Palace at Weston, the room is about 400 square feet. It also includes a LED faux fireplace, a fiber optic waterfall, weighted blankets and rocking recliners. Soft fabric is used for wall treatments and covered walls, from floor-to-ceiling, giving the feeling of being in a cocoon.

According to Shaham, the room is used to calm and reduce agitation through the use of gentle light, soothing sound, relaxing smells and textures. People with dementia are susceptible to sundowning and by spending 15-30 minutes with their caregiver in the multi-sensory room, their quality of life is improved. Time in the room can also help reduce anxiety, restlessness, confusion, stress and challenging behaviors. The length of time is geared to the resident and is either one-on-one with a caregiver or used with small groups.

Memory care at The Palace at Weston also includes interactive Life Stations to spark memories for residents. Residents are encouraged to touch, feel, use and share the items in each Life Station, which are designed to replicate some of the things that are familiar to them.

“We’ve included a men’s handyman workshop, baby layette for nurturing, a laundry area and a vanity for residents to use on their own,” added Shaham. “The Life Stations reflect their needs and life histories of what a typical day may have been in their lives.  They can derive joy from this interaction.”

Stimulated pet therapy is used in The Palace’s Memory Care as well. Residents can cuddle specially designed cats and dogs that are life-like mechanical pets. This type of therapy brings out people’s loving and caring instincts and is very popular since many residents are former pet owners.

A secure interior courtyard offers a lighted garden pathway system and the ability for residents to stroll and enjoy the outdoors.

The Palace at Weston’s memory care neighborhood has its own private entrance within the community that also offers independent and assisted living. Similar to both independent and assisted living in the community, it’s designed with a large gathering plaza for group activities and an ice cream bar for snacks and coffee. TVs are set within frames giving the appearance of looking through an actual window at scenery. Residents can watch a huge nature wall with picturesque beaches, mountain vistas and sunsets throughout the day.

“We want the lives of our residents to be enriched and increase their comfort level and wellbeing,” said Shaham. “The Palace at Weston’s planning reflects The Palace Group’s over 35 years caring for older adults.”

To learn more about memory care at The Palace at Weston, which recently opened, please call 954-217-2000 or visit www.ThePalaceAtWeston.com.


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