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This Assisted Living Facility Is Designed to Look Like a Neighborhood

While you may not be able to relive your youth, a chain of assisted living facilities in Ohio is giving residents the opportunity to at least revisit the setting of their younger years—all in the name of health.

The Lantern assisted living locations recently garnered attention after a Reddit user posted a photo of the interior of the chain’s Chagrin Valley outlet (others are in Madison and Saybrook). The centers are designed to look like a community of 1930s and '40s homes, complete with porches, rocking chairs, grass-like carpet, and a fiber optic ceiling that transitions from a day to night sky.

The idea is to use the environment to help care for patients who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. CEO Jean Makesh got the idea while working for a large nursing home chain, and told Cleveland.com that the design is meant, in part, to connect to Alzheimer’s patients who often retain early memories from their first few decades of life, even as they slowly lose things from later years.

The controlled environment—which Makesh says helps reduce anger, anxiety, and depression—also contains elements like aromatherapy, which can help calm residents (as with frankincense) or encourage them to eat (as with peppermint or citrus), which can often be a big issue for those suffering from dementia. There’s also aural therapy, with music and environmental sounds like birds chirping pumping through the speakers throughout the day.

Lantern is focused on rehabilitation, with occupational therapists and psychotherapists on staff, and daily classes for residents that help with basic living functions like getting dressed, which is furthered through the home-like setting. As TODAY reports, core nursing and care services are supplemented with activities like family nights, a cooking club, and shopping trips.

Plus, when it comes to overall health and happiness, it’s always nice to be able to walk out onto your porch and greet the neighbors.

[h/t TODAY]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.

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Courtesy Umbrellium
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Design
These LED Crosswalks Adapt to Whoever Is Crossing
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Courtesy Umbrellium

Crosswalks are an often-neglected part of urban design; they’re usually just white stripes on dark asphalt. But recently, they’re getting more exciting—and safer—makeovers. In the Netherlands, there is a glow-in-the-dark crosswalk. In western India, there is a 3D crosswalk. And now, in London, there’s an interactive LED crosswalk that changes its configuration based on the situation, as Fast Company reports.

Created by the London-based design studio Umbrellium, the Starling Crossing (short for the much more tongue-twisting STigmergic Adaptive Responsive LearnING Crossing) changes its layout, size, configuration, and other design factors based on who’s waiting to cross and where they’re going.

“The Starling Crossing is a pedestrian crossing, built on today’s technology, that puts people first, enabling them to cross safely the way they want to cross, rather than one that tells them they can only cross in one place or a fixed way,” the company writes. That means that the system—which relies on cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor both pedestrian and vehicle traffic—adapts based on road conditions and where it thinks a pedestrian is going to go.

Starling Crossing - overview from Umbrellium on Vimeo.

If a bike is coming down the street, for example, it will project a place for the cyclist to wait for the light in the crosswalk. If the person is veering left like they’re going to cross diagonally, it will move the light-up crosswalk that way. During rush hour, when there are more pedestrians trying to get across the street, it will widen to accommodate them. It can also detect wet or dark conditions, making the crosswalk path wider to give pedestrians more of a buffer zone. Though the neural network can calculate people’s trajectories and velocity, it can also trigger a pattern of warning lights to alert people that they’re about to walk right into an oncoming bike or other unexpected hazard.

All this is to say that the system adapts to the reality of the road and traffic patterns, rather than forcing pedestrians to stay within the confines of a crosswalk system that was designed for car traffic.

The prototype is currently installed on a TV studio set in London, not a real road, and it still has plenty of safety testing to go through before it will appear on a road near you. But hopefully this is the kind of road infrastructure we’ll soon be able to see out in the real world.

[h/t Fast Company]

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iStock
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fun
Here's How to Turn an IKEA Box Into a Spaceship
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iStock

Since IKEA boxes are designed to contain entire furniture items, they could probably fit a small child once they’re emptied of any flat-packed component pieces. This means they have great potential as makeshift forts—or even as play spaceships, according to one of the Swedish furniture brand’s print ads, which was spotted by Design Taxi.

First highlighted by Ads of the World, the advertisement—which was created by Miami Ad School, New York—shows that IKEA is helping customers transform used boxes into build-it-yourself “SPÄCE SHIPS” for children. The company provides play kits, which come with both an instruction manual and cardboard "tools" for tiny builders to wield during the construction process.

As for the furniture boxes themselves, they're emblazoned with the words “You see a box, they see a spaceship." As if you won't be climbing into the completed product along with the kids …

Check out the ad below:

[h/t Design Taxi]

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