Iron Heart Memory Village - Designing Independent Living for Dementia Residents to Enhance Mobility

dc.contributor.authorVargas Arias, Danielaen
dc.contributor.committeechairKelsch, Paul J.en
dc.contributor.committeememberEmmons, Paul F.en
dc.contributor.committeememberKeslacy, Elizabeth Marie-Frehaen
dc.description.abstractThe present architectural proposal aims to foster engagement, support independence, and promote a sense of meaning, comfort, and safety for dementia residents of care facilities. The proposed Iron Heart Memory Village aims to improve the quality of life for dementia residents by redesigning healthcare facilities and integrating everyday lifestyles into their living spaces. Dementia, characterized by cognitive decline and functional impairments, poses significant challenges to individuals and their caregivers. By reimagining program spaces within low-density housing and providing access to public amenities, entertainment, and natural environments, healthcare facilities can emulate familiar everyday settings. In terms of design, Iron Heart Memory Village offers a setting that prioritizes interactions between residents, healthcare professionals, and visitors through low-density residences, individual courtyards designed for the different stages of dementia, shopping, cooking, entertainment, public amenities, and simple living. This proposal considers the proposed site's history, climate, site, demographics, economics, and other factors to best design a building that serves not only dementia residents but also the neighborhood. The proposal addresses the multifaceted needs of dementia residents and their caregivers through sustainable architecture and construction. Innovative architecture, such as green roofs, solar panels, locally sourced materials, open designs, and more, are some of the elements used to enhance mobility, stimulate mental abilities, and create environments conducive to holistic well-being. Through a deeper understanding of dementia as a condition influenced by various factors, including brain damage and other underlying conditions, this project underscores the importance of design and architecture as a means to alleviate symptoms and improve overall outcomes for individuals affected by dementia.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralDementia is a big challenge for people, families, and healthcare systems worldwide because it affects memory and everyday activities. As more people get older, dementia is becoming more common. This means we need new ideas to help those with dementia. Many traditional healthcare places struggle to help people with dementia properly, which can make life harder for them and their caregivers. However, new research shows that changing how healthcare buildings are designed and including things from everyday life can make a big difference for people with dementia. This sets the stage for a proposal to improve healthcare places for people with dementia by redesigning them to feel like regular homes. The proposal suggests making healthcare buildings more like real homes by adding things like places to hang out, entertainment options, and nature views. It also suggests activities people enjoy, like shopping and cooking, to help them stay social. Plus, it includes changes to make the buildings easier to get around for people with mobility issues. Overall, the goal is to make life better for people with dementia by making healthcare places feel more like home and helping them stay active and independent. This could also make things easier for their caregivers. The proposal is a plan for this and could be a model for future dementia care.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Architectureen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectdementia patientsen
dc.subjectquality of lifeen
dc.subjecthealthcare facilitiesen
dc.subjectlow density housingen
dc.titleIron Heart Memory Village - Designing Independent Living for Dementia Residents to Enhance Mobilityen
dc.typeThesisen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Architectureen


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