A waterfall, sounds of nature and diffusing aromas are just a few of the features included in a new addition, serving memory care patients at The Hearth at Franklin retirement living community.

On Wednesday, The Hearth at Franklin and Williamson, Inc. partnered to host a ribbon cutting ceremony, unveiling the new sensory room called “The Blue Lagoon.”

“This is a special place,” said Nancy Conway, senior vice president of community relations for Williamson, Inc. “They provide the services needed and the activities needed to help each person have a stronger, healthier life both mentally and physically.”

The special room is helping residents who are struggling with Alzheimer’s and dementia, Executive Director Danny Phillips said.

“We wanted something different, unique, something that will help day in and day out,” he said.

An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

After consulting with other staff and extensive research, the “Blue Lagoon” addresses all five senses to help memory care patients relax.

“When you have dementia you struggle with anxiety, depression behavior, confusion, all of those different things,” Phillips said. “This room and what it’s designed to do is help them with all that.”

Focusing on the calming sounds of a waterfall, for example, helps patients to reduce anxiety which in turn helps with the overarching goal to “improve their overall quality of life” for memory care patients.

“We’re not wanting to use medications all the time,” Phillips said. “We’re wanting to use other alternatives.”

Phillips said three memory care residents at the Hearth were recently struggling until a nurse brought them into the “Blue Lagoon.”

“All three had gone from very anxious, very shaky, crying and upset, but then five-seven minutes later, they all started laughing, cutting up and relaxed,” he said.

For more information about The Hearth at Franklin, go to https://franklin.thehearth.net.