The Commercial Inspector | Using Immersive Towns to Fight Mental

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Using Immersive Towns to Fight Mental Deterioration

 December 23, 2020 |  Investment, CRE News |  building renovations, real estate trends, special purpose facilities

Micro-hospitals, small practice offices and other medical-related businesses are always looking for lucrative commercial properties to set up shop. The constant demand for buildings to house equipment and offices is a big draw for commercial property owners and investors. Now, there’s a trend taking place in healthcare that involves transforming commercial properties into “blasts from the past.”

Increase in Memory Loss
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans suffer from dementia or some other type of memory loss. Dementia is a disease that progresses at different rates to the point of forgetting speech and motor skills. While younger people can suffer from memory loss, the majority of cases affect those 65 and older. The Alzheimer’s Association states that based on this data, nearly 1 in 3 seniors will contract some form of dementia in their lifetime.

Which Way to Go?
When a loved one is diagnosed, family may choose to move them into their own home to care for them. This is a cost-effective idea, but can be tricky to coordinate schedules so that a family member is always at home with them. Some may also choose to hire a live-in or visiting nurse that can provide care during the times when others are at work or school. But if the situation continues to worsen, a loved one may need to be admitted to a nursing or assisted living home.

Capturing Important Moments
A new option can make the transition easier for everyone, and allows loved ones to maintain some of their independence. Reminiscence therapy is a process where patients are “inserted” into the time or place that they remember most while growing up. The late teens to early thirties are seen as the timeframe where strong memories are formed around certain sights, smells and sounds. While there are large communities that mimic modern towns where members can walk around and live, they don’t offer the same immersion as these “time capsule towns” do.

Glenner Town Park
The most popular of these is the Glenner Town Park in Southern California. The facility is housed in a 9,000 square foot building. It offers all sorts of memories from an old-time café, to a theater and a beautiful park. The goal of this facility is to offer something familiar to those dealing with memory loss. As the community members tour around, they’re supervised by the staff and also participate in various activities like exercising and singing. This allows the patients to still have that feeling of freedom and helps to give them a sense of normalcy.

Looking Ahead for RT
Even though the original concept for RT began in the early 2000s, this throwback trend has started to pop up across the United States. As these types of care centers continue to grow in demand, they’ll need more buildings and spaces to set up. Right now, there are approximately 65 million people in the Gen X generation, and although they might need different facility layouts, the concept is still a popular one. These facilities help give families the peace of mind that they’re giving a loved one the utmost comfort during a difficult time.

For all your commercial property inspections needs, contact NPI to schedule an appointment today.

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