What It’s Like to Live in a Dementia Care Unit
The first thing I noticed was the lack of hot water. I’d just gotten in from the airport and wanted to shed my travel dirt. The water wasn’t cold, but I like scalding showers — the kind that make you feel reborn — and the highest heat setting was only producing a lukewarm stream.
And then I realized: This is to protect me from myself. Well, not me, but the usual residents in this community.
I spent a recent week living in a locked dementia unit in Brookdale Senior Living’s Fort Collins (Colorado) community as part of Brookdale’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence program. My startup company, MemoryWell, is an older-adult storytelling platform. We aim to replace clunky questionnaires that families hate to fill out when they put loved ones in assisted living with professionally told stories.