Memory Care – Enriching LIFE

Within an assisted living community there is often another area that is available. That community is a memory care area. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are diagnoses that create care giving needs that go beyond the physical. It is a difficult care-giving task. There are many benefits of looking at the need for a memory care community for your loved one.

I am often asked “What is the difference between assisted living and memory care?” Memory care communities usually have a higher staff to resident ratio and have controlled access. They are usually a smaller setting as well. This simplifies the resident’s experience and creates a comforting setting that prevents feeling overwhelmed. Often with memory loss the individual may not feel comfortable in larger settings. The busier setting may cause a resident to withdraw or become agitated. Memory care staff is specially trained to work with residents who have memory loss.

Spectrum Health Companies has 2 very specific memory care programs in all of our buildings. The first is a LIFE Enrichment program. This program focuses on Loving, Individualized and Fulfilling Experience. This provides our residents the quality of life they deserve.

The LIFE™ program employs a resident focused approach that’s based on the personality, history, likes and dislikes of each individual. We have found taking the time to know each resident personally, we incorporate aspects of family, work, hobbies and interests into their day. By focusing on pleasant times and experiences from their past, we help maintain the highest possible level of ability. By proposing choices, we help them preserve dignity and independence. By forming warm, sincere relationships, we help them feel at home Our philosophy of memory care is directly tied to meeting each individuals physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Meeting people where they are and helping them find the best activities that meet their needs is vital. If someone was a homemaker and spent many years caring for their family, finding things in the community for them to do similar to those activities provides satisfaction in their day to day life. If someone has been involved in business and the corporate world, they may need to have activities that are different in light of their life history. Having a daily “meeting” they attend that highlights the news and current events may meet the social needs of those residents better than other activities.

Our next post will focus on our second memory care program called Music & Memories.