Memory care is just for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. It features specially-trained staff and 24-hour support for residents in a safe, comfortable environment. You may find memory care in a stand-alone setting, or as a separate part of an assisted living community. It’s a wonderful option for specialized care for a family member with dementia. The trouble is, many memory care programs are simply a modified version of assisted living. We think our residents deserve even more, and instead created an intentionally-designed memory care program. Here are the benefits.
What’s Lacking in Traditional Memory Care
Although assisted living programs that are modified for memory care do offer extra support and structure for those with dementia, the primary focus is to enhance physical well-being through a secure setting with easy-to-navigate floor plans, set routines to lower stress, a balanced diet with dining assistance plus opportunities for fitness as well as physical, occupational and cognitive therapy. There may also be some structured activities and opportunities to socialize as well.
While these programs can certainly ensure your family member’s needs are met, our Symphony of Life® program takes it a step further with an intentionally-designed memory care program that nurtures the whole person, not just the physical. Because after all, it’s body, mind AND spirit that truly drive who we are as people!
Benefits of Intentionally-Designed Memory Care with Symphony of Life
Intentionally-designed memory care is not just a fancy turn of phrase. Our Symphony of Life® memory care was created specifically for the unique challenges that come with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. We think of it like an elaborate musical score designed to bring harmony to every movement and activity of community life; enriching each resident in body, mind and spirit through family, friends and support services.
That’s what makes this memory care program ideal for those experiencing cognitive impairment as it encourages and stimulates mental acuity and intentionally creates avenues in which residents can still relate, be present in the moment and engage in life to their fullest potential.
For example, weight loss is common among seniors with dementia. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are a number of factors for this including:
- More calories being burned through pacing and wandering
- Food preferences changing as dementia progresses
- Vision and sense of smell of taste becoming impaired which makes finding food and stimulating appetite more difficult
- Later in the disease, forgetting how to use utensils, chew and/or swallow
- Lack of ability to communicate health issues that make it less desirable to eat such as gastrointestinal pain and discomfort
As a result, we use red plates, a color proven to stimulate appetite, as well as weighted cups and easy-to-grip silverware to encourage independence and make it easier to participate in as well as enjoy meals.
In addition, we provide delicious, yet nutritious dining options that are easy to chew and may include finger foods to promote independence. It’s all in an intimate, restaurant-style dining environment that’s designed to be supportive of the unique challenges of those with dementia so your family member can feel comfortable and relaxed with assistance available if and when they need it.
Symphony of Life® features intentional design in areas beyond improving nutrition as well. We use way-finding colors in our communities to help residents navigate their neighborhood and increase safety plus intentional artwork that leads them to conversation spots.
We use Eversound headphones for residents which are specifically made for seniors with dementia to overcome hearing challenges and also to help calm and redirect those experiencing agitation.
Not to mention, our use of robotic pets which are very realistic to cats and dogs – they purr, bark and respond to touch – which brings connection and comfort all around.
SYMPHONY OF LIFE® is a registered trademark of 12 Oaks Senior Living.