I had the pleasure of touring a new facility that ‘gets it’. One Kenton is a state of the art residence designed exclusively for those with dementia. Demographics indicate that one in three persons over age 85 will develop a dementia. There is a shortage of appropriate residences that cater exclusively to this clientele. I am not referring to the secured floor of retirement residences where individuals are often tucked away, but rather a home-like setting that supports and encourages individuals living with varying stages of dementia. People are living longer with dementia and need to be encouraged to live life to their full potential. There are a few other home like residences within the GTA that are designed for individuals in the early to moderate stages of the disease. However, given the high care needs of many of these individuals and the low ratio of staff to client, these smaller homes do not have many vacancies.
In partnership with the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation at Western University and with funding by B’nai Brith Canada, the residence opened its doors six months ago. The building is programed with electronic safety devices that allows tracking of residents and staff, from anywhere in the building and is able to determine if someone has fallen or is in need of assistance. Electronic reminders to wash your hands and other cueing by robots is also being considered. There is a strong focus on community involvement and while residents don’t have to be Jewish, traditions and Jewish cultural awareness is integrated into the programming.
I hope to see more non-profit residences that are designed for individuals living with a dementia open their doors. One Kenton appears to be a model worth following.