® Natural Environment
Dementia increases a
person’s sensitivity to environmental stimuli because cognitive impairment
limits her or his ability to understand the implications of sensory experience,
and to effectively process that information. (Cohen & Weisman, 1991)
A classic study by Roger
Ulrich (1984) also supported the idea that the view of natural elements itself
was powerful providing health benefits. Records on recovery after surgery of
patients in suburban Pennsylvania hospital between 1972 and 1981 were examined
to determine whether assignment to a room with a window view of a natural
setting might have restorative influences. Other studies have shown that surgical
patients assigned to rooms with windows looking out on a natural scene had
shorter post-operative hospital stays, received fewer negative evaluative
comments in nurses’ notes, and took fewer potent analgesics than matched patients
in similar rooms with windows facing a brick building wall.
® Air pollution
While air pollution is
often thought of as harmful mainly to the lungs, a large body of evidence
indicates that the cardiovascular system is also vulnerable to the effects of air
pollution.9 Emerging evidence
suggests that air pollution contributes to brain inflammation and the risk of
Alzheimer’s-type neurodegenerative disease as well.
9, 10 (Brook RD. Air Pollution. What is bad for
the arteries might be bad for the veins. Arch Int Med. 2008;168(9):909-911.)
Though the full extent of the consequences of air pollution are
still uncertain, known adverse impacts on health already place the particulate
component alone as the thirteenth leading cause of global mortality, causing
approximately 800,000 deaths per year.10
® Sound pollution
Noise pollution may
lead to overstimulation in people with dementia. They have trouble processing
what is going on in their environment and decreasing stimuli can decrease
certain behaviors. The majority of older people would not be used to continuous
noise associated with movement going on around them in their own homes.
As the brain is trained
to pay attention to loud and unwanted sounds, a noisy environment can lead to
lowered concentration levels followed by agitation in people with dementia.
Research suggests, a noisy environment affects sleeping patterns and food
habits in people with cognitive disorders. Thus, in an adult care community, it
is critical to lowering the noise levels in order to curb overstimulation and
sleep disturbances and create a quiet and a comfortable living environment.
Igatpuri is a town and a Hill Station in Nashik District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. This hill
station covers a large part of the Western Ghats and is situated at a height of
1900 feet above main sea level. The rugged terrain and dense forests add to the
scenic view of this hill station.
As it is untouched by
urbanization, there is less room for air and noise pollution. Thus, it could
prove to be a perfect environment for a nursing home community which aims to
heal people with dementia by incorporating therapeutic roles of architecture
and reduce their dependence on pharmaceuticals.
The climate at Igatpuri
is majorly pleasant and salubrious throughout the year. The short period of
summer can be hot. The Monsoons that follow are a welcome change from the heat.
During this time, Igatpuri transforms into a green paradise enriching the
entire experience of sight-seeing. The climate not being too hot or too cold
may be favourable for the residents making them feel comfortable all year long.