Our Memory Care community is very special in all our Carefree Livings. We are certified providers for Music and Memory. This is a program that was founded in 2010, as a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly through digital music. This program is designed to vastly improve their quality of life. We are very excited to see first-hand the difference this program is making in some of our resident’s lives.
Music is a great tool for reminiscing and recalling the past. A certain song can bring back treasured memories through lyrics or by recalling where you were when you heard the song. Maybe it was a childhood talent show, family holidays, your first kiss, or a wedding song. Music and memories go hand in hand. Recalling past events is a great way to keep the mind active.
Our Music and Memory program is where residents listen to personalized music playlists that we create with input from the residents themselves, their families, friends and our staff.
Some of the benefits this program has seen in the past are as follows:
- It can reduce the reliance on a
nti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications
- It can reduce agitation and sun downing effects
- It does enhance engagement and socialization with family, friends, staff, peers
- It can increase cooperation and attention resulting in a reduction of resistance to care
- It offers an opportunity to participate in an enjoyable fulfilling personal activity
As with all treatments, there are varying results and one approach does not work with all individuals; however, we have seen some wonderful success stories with our residents in our current facilities. We have had individuals who were nonverbal when entering our facility transformed to folks who will sing along with the music and interact with staff and activities in a greater capacity. We have also seen faces light up with delight the moment the music begins, where previously they were unresponsive to normal verbal interactions. This program has been very beneficial for memory care residents to allow for a greater quality of life.
Spectrum’s philosophy of respecting wishes and exceeding expectations has been the driving force behind the success of the resident care-centered approach. The state-of-the-art facilities along with caring staff give residents a comfortable blend of hospitality and first-class health service for those in need.
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.