The Celebration of Life
An ambiance of the celebration of life permeates our Memory Care Villa, which not only rejoices on special occasions, but affirms that every moment of life is intrinsically joyful. Our quality of life program asserts that the present moment is vital to the Elder with memory loss.
A person-centered approach allows assessment of individual preferences of activities and occupations.
Music and Memory is a personalized music therapy program that taps deep memories not lost to dementia which brings Elders joy, enhances self-awareness of identity, increases cooperation and attention, reduces resistance to care and offers a viable alternative to antipsychotic medications to manage sun downing and behaviors.
We realize that unstructured time is meaningless to Elders with dementia and aim to provide a consistent, fortified and life enhancing routine to each day.
A Healing Environment
Our care is deep-rooted in nurturing the core psychological needs of an Elder with memory loss. We believe these core needs to be:
We understand that Elders with memory loss are struggling to cope with a debilitating disease, and thus we provide frequent praise, encouragement, opportunities for success, specialized approaches, and at all times, a profound respect for their personhood.
Compatissants are trained in communication techniques that combine sensitivity and empathy to validate the feelings and identity of each Elder, thus decreasing the isolation and loneliness persons with dementia often experience. We recognize that behaviors are a form of communication and seek to understand their message.
Meal times are opportunities to nourish both body and spirit. Dining room tables welcome small groups of Elders to prevent over-stimulation. Tableware and use of contrasting colors compensate for dementia related vision deficiencies. Meals, which are home-cooked, are supplemented by two substantial snacks to ensure nutritional needs of Elders are fulfilled. Processed foods are avoided.
At all times, it is our desire to cultivate and maintain a healing environment.
An Innovative Approach
It is our commitment to remain attentive to innovative means of improving and enhancing cognitive function rather than complacently treating the effects of memory loss. We strive for excellence in the provision of appropriate, ongoing medical care.
We desire to limit the use of antipsychotic medications for Elders with dementia by offering whole person care which includes occupational and recreational activities, evidence based holistic nursing practices, an individualized approach to interpreting and managing behaviors and a healing environment.
Whole-person modalities that we utilize to enhance the well-being of Elders with memory loss include the following:
Massage and Therapeutic Touch
Natural Light and Bright Light Therapy
To Feel Safe and at Home
We recognize the fragility that memory loss creates. Through the architectural design of the Memory Care Villa, we offer a safe environment that promotes autonomy and appeases the heart with the qualities of home.
Elders are encouraged to bring cherished furniture from home to personalize their private room which includes a double paned window and their own bathroom with shower.
A large sunroom bathes Elders with natural light and offers a lovely view of the garden, while boosting orientation to time and season.
A walk out enclosed garden stimulates the senses and provides a sacred space for quiet reflection or pleasant family encounters.
Hand painted murals deflect attention from exit areas and offer beauty.
Ariel Wander Guard system and a vestibule with a double door exit promotes security for Elders who wander.
All aspects of the décor and design of the Memory Care Villa have been thoughtfully chosen to promote the independence and comfort of the Elder with memory loss, including familiar furniture styles, comfy lazy boys and stationary rockers.
Lighting scheme includes enhanced natural light and nightlights in bedrooms to increase safety, decrease risk of falls and soothe agitation related to the phenomena of dementia sun downing.
A Partnership of Care
We utilize a person centered care methodology that moves beyond disease-focused thinking which accentuates disabilities and personal deficits into an ability and strength based plan of care. Compatissants recognize and respect each Elder’s own initiative and abilities and enter with them into a respectful care partnership.
A compatissant to Elder ratio of 1:2 provides ample time for Elders, with the encouragement and assistance of compatissants, to self-perform tasks of daily living to the extent they are able. Elders’ preferences and choices are vital to this care partnership.
We value family involvement and consider them essential collaborators in the provision of whole person care to their Elder.
Families and friends of Elders with memory loss are offered educational experiences that will enhance their understanding of dementia, offer consolation and hope and teach techniques of communication that will help them connect with and share their loved ones reality.
Families are invited to participate in a Care Contract through which we forge a partnership of care that honors and upholds their past and present contributions while allowing us to continue the journey together.
Planned events allow families and Elders, including those in the larger community, to enjoy enriching activities together with others who appreciate and understand the exigencies of dementia.
Families are always welcome, and if visiting during meals, are offered a place at the table.
We Will Remember
When an Elder with memory loss can no longer remember their identity, we will remember, and seek to support them in the retention of their identity by re-telling and affirming their life story.
Elders are recognized and treated as unique individuals. Staff will strive to compile and preserve each Elders’ life story through reminiscence.
Beautifully hand-crafted shadow boxes at the entry of each Elder’s bedroom display self-referent artifacts that enhance awareness of identity and promote way finding.
Each Elder has a personalized “My Page” on IN2L (It’s Never Too Late technology for seniors) which displays relevant photos representing their life story as well as their favorite personal options including music, games, videos, and websites.
Reminiscent scrapbooks and daily journals are thoughtfully crafted by family and staff for each Elder..
We offer a life-enhancing and secure community providing dignity, respect and choice for Elders diagnosed with memory loss.
Memory Care Villa
The Villas of Guerin Woods