If your family member has Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia you likely know all too well the heartbreaking feeling of having them physically present, but not really with you. It’s what makes those moments of connection all the more meaningful for you and your family member when they do happen. We believe that with the right memory care program, those special moments don’t have to be left up to chance. Here’s how we create in-the-moment opportunities with sensory experiences for our residents.
A Different Approach to Memory Care
In traditional memory care, which is a type of senior living designed exclusively for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, you can expect specially-trained staff, 24-hour support, and a safe, comfortable setting that typically features:
- Private or companion apartments
- Meals and snacks
- Medication management
- Assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing and eating
- Fitness programs
- Housekeeping and laundry services
While it’s an environment that ensures the physical needs of residents are being met, as you know, it’s also the mind and the spirit that drive who we are as people – that make your family member their own unique person!
That’s why we decided to take memory care a step further, creating a program known as SYMPHONY OF LIFE® which supports the whole person through intentional experiences that encourage and stimulate mental acuity so residents can be more active, engaged and function to their fullest potential in all aspects of daily life.
Sensory Experiences Strike a Chord
Although dementia may strip your family member of traditional ways to communicate, we know it’s still possible for them to be present regardless of the unique challenges they face. Through intentional experiences which engage the senses, SYMPHONY OF LIFE® memory care is able to strike a chord that helps residents to compensate for longer and/or to be in the moment more often. Opportunities include:
- Experiential activities such as outdoor walks, van/car rides, puzzles, creative arts, baking cookies, popping popcorn, listening to music, watching movies, and being read to by caring team members.
- Eversound headphones, specifically made for seniors with dementia, help residents overcome hearing challenges (and also help to calm and redirect those experiencing agitation) so they can better communicate and feel more comfortable.
- Eldergrow gardens bring nature indoors so residents can plant and engage in meaningful ways physically, socially, cognitively, creatively, and spiritually.
- Robotic pets, which are very realistic to cats and dogs as they purr, bark and respond to touch, not only bring smiles and comfort to residents, but even in the later stages of dementia, residents instinctively connect by stroking the animals.
- Aromatherapy, not only to trigger emotions and/or thoughts but also to calm residents using scented, warm washcloths and roll-on essential oils.
Even mealtime is a sensory experience with menu, food texture, and temperature variety, as well as the use of red plates (a color proven to stimulate appetite), weighted cups, and easy-to-grip silverware to encourage independence and make it easier to enjoy meals.