Opening night of Farrow’s recently completed second phase of the Netherlands Norwich community, which offers a variety of senior focused housing types.

The first phase included independent living fourplex homes, linked to the assisted living building, designed semicircular in form, containing the common and living areas, surrounding a central common garden terrace.

The second phase offers additional assisted living, complex care and palliative care suites, with common music, activity and winter garden rooms overlooking adjacent school playground and church grounds.

Contrary to the assumption that brain networks are ‘fixed’, our brains are permanently plastic and can grow, heal, and change at all times in our lives.

A number of factors contribute to this, including our environment, which has an impact on our capacity to strengthen our neural networks through the process of neurogenesis.

How do buildings create health for vulnerable communities? In what ways can the built environment participate as not only a preventative measure against illness but equally as an accelerant for health; non-invasive therapeutics; environments that make aging communities more resilient to neurodegeneration?

Many long-term care facilities operating today may not be considered as enriching and in fact exacerbate the effects of age-related decline.

It has been shown that these types of impoverished spaces, those with a lack of appropriate sensory stimulation, intensify brain atrophy, and slow down the recovery process of brain lesions in stroke victims.

Environmental Enrichment (EEs), support cognitive reserve by strengthening synaptic health and promoting the growth of new neurons.