Art Helps Improve Resident’s Memory

Senior residents are able to navigate and orient themselves easily by viewing artworks.

Hollywood, Florida – Residents at a newly built assisted living facility in Florida are able to navigate and orient themselves more easily by viewing artwork that is both, thematic and color-coded outside their apartment doors as well as inside and on individuals floors. The strategically placed artwork was the brainchild of Dale Miller, president of Daring by Design, an interior firm specializing in senior living design.

Miller has partnered with artist Oren Sherman to provide the first “art to enlighten and aid memory” project for The Coolidge Palms Assited Living Resort in Hollywood. Miller and Sherman envisioned the artwork as a tool for orientation by creating graphic images of easily recognizable scenes in a variety of colors at the entry to each apartment. The same image outside of the door is repeated inside the room to reiterate the message.

To prevent confusion, no two images on a given floor are alike. The artwork to aid memory in senior living facilities began after reading an article on improving object recognition in Alzheimer’s patients by using color cues. Miller learned how color cues can help with short-term memory, just as a parking garage uses color codes to define each floor.

Shortly thereafter, Miller reached out to Sherman, and the pair learned about the New York Museum of Modern Art’s Alzheimer’s Project, titled “Making Art Accessible for People with Dementia.” The project was the first to provide scientific evidence that art can improve moods and provide intellectual stimulation.

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