A Multi-Sensory Courtyard With Activities, Gardens, & Activities
Terra Vista is a memory care facility and community in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois that offers the most expansive multi-sensory outdoor courtyard in the region (+18,000 Sq. Ft.). Innerwalk™ is an amazing blend of beauty, function and technology. The Innerwalk™ at our dementia nursing home offers magnificent gardens, pathways, and activities for seniors that have Alzheimers and dementia.
The entirety of Innerwalk™ is “dementia capable,“ meaning that each and every element was specifically chosen or designed to enhance a users experience. Seniors and their families actively interact with Innerwalk’s™ many “dementia capable” activities, including way finding elements, wide circular pathways with ample seating, unblocked views, herb and butterfly gardens featuring non toxic plants, assistive lighting, and the Serenity Fountain with its “dancing waters”.
Terra Vista is the first dementia nursing home to incorporate Ibeacons/near field communication system into a multi-sensory courtyard. This system automatically guides, informs and educates residents and visitors as to the activities of the Innerwalk™ based on their proximity to an element. By integrating near field communication into the courtyard, Alzheimers and dementia residents will be alerted as to specific interactive activities and/or be offered a self-guided tour of the courtyard through their smart devices. The features at the courtyard of our memory car facility provide an opportunity for families to interact and stimulate those living with dementia giving them the opportunity to enjoy and express themselves in many different ways.
Innerwalk™ has varied specialty gardens including: Motion Garden, Butterfly Garden, Shade Garden, Sun Garden, Color Garden, Chef’s Garden, Heritage Garden, Railroad Garden, Living Wall, Veterans Garden, Cutting Garden, Blended Garden. Each garden offers activities to seniors at our dementia nursing home that are designed to promote mental and physical health.
Numerous studies demonstrate that gardens and horticulture have the ability to reduce stress and anxiety in people with dementia (https://www.alzheimers.org and http://www.alzheimers.net). Despite the loss of cognition, a connection to nature remains strong throughout the progression of the disease. These natural spaces and activities for seniors have proven to modify behaviors through their calming effects. Further, the act of gardening is beneficial in that it gives the person with dementia a sense of purpose and usefulness; both of which those with dementia can lack as they adjust to the symptoms.
With safety the number one priority at our dementia nursing home in Oakbrook Terrace, each feature, plant and space has been carefully selected to stimulate and engage our dementia residents in body, mind and spirit. These specially selected plants attract a wide range of birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Seniors and visitors can leisurely stroll through InnerWalk™ on its wide paths, exploring the various activities along the way; all the while basking in vitamin rich sunlight and fresh air. There are many visual, aural and tactile features placed throughout the courtyard at our memory care facility to capture one’s attention, spark imagination or simply bring a smile to one’s face
By design, InnerWalk™ is an “internal, outdoor courtyard,” meaning it can only be entered and exited from inside Terra Vista. This allows the residents to freely move in and out without fear of wandering off or getting lost. The paths and interactive activities have been purposely designed with ample places to sit and relax or have a nice visit, including the gazebo, neighborhood entrances and benches along the path.
The benefits of Innerwalk™ aren’t limited to the residents at our dementia nursing home. Both families and staff experience positive moments from these spaces and activities as well. Innerwalk™ provides a relaxing, yet entertaining, environment for family members and their technology curious (read obsessed) children to visit and enjoy. Staff utilize InnerWalk™ as a shared space with residents, building relationships and unwinding together.