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Virtual Reality Program Allows Memory Care Residents To Transcend Their Environment

Category Archives: Assisted living and memory care

Virtual Reality Program Allows Memory Care Residents To Transcend Their Environment

In 2020, now that travel has become increasingly restrictive (at least for the short-haul) it’s refreshing to learn that seniors living with dementia at Sunshine Retirement Living communities can now tour the world via virtual reality (VR). Their virtual adventures have included everything from swimming with sharks to going on an elephant safari to visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris or attending an opera for the first time.

Not only is VR therapy a stimulating and enjoyable way to spend the afternoon, but it also seems to unlock memories in people with dementia. Through VR, residents have had memory breakthroughs and recalled experiences from their childhood and important family memories that were previously lost because of their dementia, says Sarah Peters, Sunshine’s Director of Marketing. Although some residents choose simple virtual experiences, like walking on a beach or through a forest, that too often helps them connect to memories of family camping trips or other past events, she notes. In addition to its VR Bucket List program, Sunshine offers a weekly group VR program, which also has therapeutic benefits, she says.

Helps residents feel more connected

The timing of Sunshine’s virtual reality initiative could not have been better, given that its communities have had to temporarily halt outside recreational trips and family visits to prevent the spread of COVID-19. VR therapy has helped relax and alleviate the anxiety of some residents, says Peters, adding that in a time of social restrictions, feelings of isolation and seclusion can be a big danger to residents. “Virtual reality allows the residents to get experiences away from the community. The group VR setting also gives them that sense of a shared adventure.”

This cutting-edge therapy integrates real-time computer graphics, body tracking devices, visual displays and other sensory inputs that resemble real-life situations, giving users the sensation of being in a different place than their actual physical environment. In a VR session at Sunshine, residents wear headsets while the Life Enrichment Director guides the experience with a handheld device. If families give permission, the hardware can be connected to a display for other residents to also watch and follow along in the experience.

Sunshine has expanded VR therapy to all assisted living, transitional assisted living and personal care communities as well as to some independent living places, with a goal of rolling it out to every community. “The response from residents and family caregivers to VR therapy has been fantastic,” says Peters.

Promising research on VR and dementia

Although research about the benefits of virtual reality on people with dementia is in the early stage, a 2019 study by the University of Kent indicates that it has huge potential. “It provides a richer and more satisfying quality of life than is otherwise available, with many positive outcomes,” said one of the researchers, Dr. Jim Ang, in this press release.

In the study, eight patients living with dementia used a VR headset to virtually visit a cathedral, a forest, a sandy beach, a rocky beach, and a countryside scene. One key finding was that VR helped patients recall old memories by providing new stimuli. For example, one patient recalled a holiday after seeing a bridge that reminded them of that trip. At an art session, some weeks later, one patient was inspired to draw a seaside picture.

To get a sense of just how exciting virtual reality can be, check out this video and article about the VR program at Sunshine’s Azalea Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care in Tallahassee, Florida. In the video, resident Bobye Townsend virtually experiences a space shuttle ride and re-experiences a SCUBA adventure on the Great Barrier Reef from decades ago. She absolutely beams with joy as she describes her VR excursions: “It was the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me, and I’ve done a lot of things and been a lot of places,” she is quoted as saying.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Azalea Gardens, contact our friendly team today.

Marshall Pines Staff Are Doing Everything Possible To Protect Residents

Millions of people across the world have been impacted by the spread of the coronavirus, and people everywhere have been subject to various stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, and other regulations intended to slow the spread and lessen the impact of the virus. Long-term care facilities like Marshall Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care in Evans, Georgia, are certainly no exception.

Indeed, because seniors are at a higher risk for the development of serious complications from the virus, retirement communities like Marshall Pines are taking extra precautions to keep their residents safe.

Because of the way the virus spreads, it is essential that very specific practices be put in place to protect residents and staff from contracting the virus. The more people residents or staff come in contact with, the more likely they are to catch or spread COVID-19. That’s because the virus spreads in close quarters. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. People in the area can possibly breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus, if the person coughing or sneezing is infected. The more people in an area, and the closer they are together, the faster the disease could potentially spread. Because residents in a senior living facility live close together and interact regularly with other residents and staff, it is especially necessary to take precautions to protect them.

To protect our senior loved ones, the CDC recommends that senior living facilities restrict visitors, regularly check healthcare workers and residents for fevers and symptoms, and limit activities within the facility to keep residents safe from the potential spread of the virus.

The team at Marshall Pines has followed these CDC recommendations and implemented the following measures in order to protect residents:

Visitation policies have temporarily changed

While Marshall Pines is normally excited to welcome family and friends to visit, during this time, visitation policies have temporarily changed at the community in order to protect residents from the coronavirus. Visitation is now restricted. In addition, all people entering the community will be screened at the front door, including residents and staff.

And while the community’s doors are still open to new residents, all community tours will be conducted virtually. Additional screening processes will be implemented for new residents to ensure all current residents remain safe.

Staff is prepared to respond

The trained and licensed staff at Marshall Pines is always available 24/7 to assist residents with anything they need. But during this time, the community’s leadership has made certain that every single member of the community’s staff is knowledgeable about the community’s virus precautions and procedures, as well as any changes. In addition, the community is in contact with state and local health officials for the most up-to-date information on how to care for and protect both residents and caregivers.

And while the staff members at Marshall Pines are always conscious of the cleanliness of the community, that is even more true now, as staff members are being extra-diligent about cleaning and disinfecting frequently-used surfaces.

Social distance is being maintained, but so are social connections

While the CDC recommends physically distancing residents and restricting visitation during the COVID-19 outbreak, it is still possible to connect with our loved ones digitally. Loneliness and isolation can have a negative impact on the well-being and the immune system. Therefore, to alleviate the strain of social isolation around this situation, the staff at Marshall Pines are helping to facilitate video conferencing and other virtual communication tools between residents and their loved ones. You can also connect with Marshall Pines on Facebook to get the most updated information from the community and keep up with the community’s activities.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Marshall Pines, contact our friendly team today.

Preventative Measures Are in Place to Protect Residents at This Reno Memory Care Facility

To say that Coronavirus has had an impact on the world might be an understatement. But for seniors, especially those living in retirement communities, the impact has been even more dramatic. Seniors are a high-risk group according to the CDC and WHO. And because the virus is spread in close quarters, seniors living in retirement communities are at a greater risk of contracting the virus if a resident or staff member should become infected. Luckily, retirement communities, like Stone Valley Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Reno, Nevada, are taking precautions to keep senior residents, a particularly vulnerable population during this challenging time, safe.

Keeping Up to Date on CDC and WHO Recommendations

As researchers and officials discover more about the virus, and as more data is collected, it’s important that retirement communities remain up to date on changing recommendations and projections. Stone Valley has read and implemented recommendations from the CDC and WHO about disinfection, social distancing, hand washing, masks, and other virus prevention measures. In addition, the community is in contact with state and local health officials for the most up-to-date information on how to care for and protect both residents and caregivers.

The trained and licensed staff at Stone Valley is always available 24/7 to assist residents with anything they need. But during this time, the community’s leadership has made certain that every single member of the community’s staff is knowledgeable about the community’s virus precautions and procedures, as well as any changes.

Limiting Residents’ Exposure to the Public

The coronavirus spreads in close quarters. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. People in the area can possibly contract COVID-19 if the person coughing or sneezing is infected.

In a tight-knit retirement community like Stone Valley, it is important to ensure that nobody who has contracted the virus or is showing symptoms is allowed inside the community. To prevent both staff and residents from unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus, Stone Valley has temporarily altered its visitation policies according to the recommendations from the CDC. While the community is normally open for family and friends to visit, visitation policies have temporarily changed. During this time, visitation is restricted. In addition, all people entering the community are being screened at the front door for symptoms or exposure to the virus, including residents and staff.

While the community’s doors are still open to new residents, all community tours will be conducted virtually. Additional screening processes will be implemented for new residents to ensure all current residents remain safe.

Disinfecting Surfaces

Unfortunately, close human contact is not the only way the virus can spread. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the droplets they release could also land on surfaces and survive for anywhere from a few hours up to several days. The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily. The staff at Stone Valley have always been diligent about maintaining a clean and healthy environment for residents, but they are going above and beyond to ensure that surfaces within the community are clean and germ-free.

Remaining Alert and Resident-Focused

The trained and licensed staff at Stone Valley are not only familiar with the new policies and procedures put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus but also familiar with each and every resident and their unique needs. Staff members continue to provide residents with their usual Person-Centered care, ensuring that their routines and healthy practices remain in place.

This is the new normal, for now. The preventative measures above work to keep the virus at bay, but if any virus-related issues were to arise in the community, Stone Valley staff are prepared to take action to contain the spread.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Stone Valley, contact our friendly team today.

Tucson Retirement Community Has Made Essential Changes in Response to the Coronavirus

The global spread of the coronavirus has impacted nearly every country in the world, and most people are currently subject to travel restrictions, quarantine, shelter-in-place orders, or other restrictions implemented to slow the spread of the virus. But for seniors living in retirement communities, extra precautions are necessary. Because seniors are at a higher risk, retirement communities like Copper Canyon are taking extra precautions to keep their residents safe.

Because of the way the virus spreads, it is essential the very specific practices be put in place to protect residents and staff from contracting the virus. Residents in senior living facilities live closely together and interact regularly with other residents and staff. And the more people residents or staff come in contact with, the more likely they are to catch or spread COVID-19. That’s because the virus spreads in close quarters. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. People in the area can possibly breathe in the droplets, including the coronavirus if the person coughing or sneezing is infected. The more people in an area, and the closer they are together, the faster the disease could potentially spread.

Because the risk of transmission and complications are much higher for senior retirement community residents, it’s not enough to follow the bare minimum guidelines from the CDC and WHO. Copper Canyon has gone above and beyond to keep their residents safe.

We’re up to date on the latest recommendations from the CDC and WHO

As researchers and officials discover more about the virus, and as more data is collected, it’s important that retirement communities remain up to date on changing recommendations and projections. Copper Canyon has read and implemented recommendations from the CDC and WHO about disinfection, social distancing, hand washing, masks, and other virus prevention measures. In addition, the community is in contact with state and local health officials for the most up-to-date information on how to care for and protect both residents and caregivers.

The trained and licensed staff at Copper Canyon are always available 24/7 to assist residents with anything they need. But during this time, the community’s leadership has made certain that every single member of the community’s staff is knowledgeable about the community’s virus precautions and procedures, as well as any changes. And while the staff members at Copper Canyon are always conscious of the cleanliness of the community, that is even more true now, as staff members are being extra-diligent about cleaning and disinfecting frequently-used surfaces.

Visitation policies have temporarily changed

To prevent both staff and residents from unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus, Copper Canyon has temporarily altered its visitation policies according to the recommendations from the CDC. While the community is normally excited to welcome family and friends to visit, during this time, visitation policies have temporarily changed and visitation is now restricted. In addition, all people entering the community are being screened at the front door, including residents and staff.

And while the community’s doors are still open to new residents, all community tours will be conducted virtually. Additional screening processes will be implemented for new residents to ensure all current residents remain safe.

Staff is on alert and resident-focused

The trained and licensed staff at Copper Canyon are not only familiar with the new policies and procedures put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, staff members are also familiar with each and every resident and their needs. Should any resident display symptoms or simply act unlike themselves, staff members are ready to get to the root of the problem immediately.

With these measures in place, Copper Canyon is confident it is keeping residents safe.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Copper Canyon, contact our friendly team today.

Seniors Enjoy Specialized Programs That Maximize Their Quality Of Life And Support Their Cognitive Health

Most of us know that people who are experiencing conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia need medical care. There are obviously doctor’s appointments to attend, medications to administer, and conditions and symptoms to be monitored and managed. But in addition to all of their medical care, people experiencing memory challenges also benefit from a wide variety of lifestyle factors that can support not only their cognitive health but also their overall quality of life.

That’s why Copper Canyon Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Tucson, Arizona, prioritizes residents’ lifestyle in addition to their medical care. Residents enjoy a variety of programs that are meant to support their physical health, mental health, and overall quality of life.

Specialized Memory Care Programming

Copper Canyon applies a Montessori-style approach to its memory care programming. While the Montessori approach was originally developed for early childhood education, Copper Canyon has built upon this approach, modifying it to honor the age and experiences of their residents. The program provides sensory stimulation and encourages cognitive stimulation while building on existing social skills. This unique programming enables your loved one to live life to the fullest in a safe and secure environment.

The community also designs its memory care and other resident programs specifically to nurture the physical, social, spiritual, cognitive, and emotional needs of all residents. The community’s programming is built on the research-backed six “Sunshine Pillars of Wellness.” That means each resident can receive not only assistance with the regular activities of daily life, but also support in the following areas: physical engagement, social connections, spiritual support, intellectual discovery, sensory stimulation, and emotional expression. As part of this programming, residents can enjoy activities such as music therapy, aromatherapy, validation techniques, health and wellness activities, and life skills stations.

Unique Dining Program

Even the community’s dining program is designed for the particular needs of memory care residents. Copper Canyon’s daily menu incorporates foods from the Rush University Medical Center MIND diet, which fosters brain health. This diet includes healthy foods such as green vegetables, nuts, berries, whole grains, beans, and lean protein sources like fish and chicken. The diet also excludes or limits foods that research suggests may not support cognitive health. The research suggests that even “modest adherence” to the MIND Diet can provide support for one’s cognitive health.

As part of Copper Canyon’s dining program, entrees are served on colored plates to stimulate appetite, and a server greets each resident individually with multiple daily menu choices. This unique 24/7 dining program, in conjunction with the community’s many Memory Care programs, is intended to help hold off memory issues for as long as possible.

Safety and Security

The Copper Canyon community was specifically designed with your loved one’s safety in mind. Each apartment offers a safe and convenient floorplan as well as safety pull cords. Each resident also wears a location-based pendant to provide you with an extra sense of security. The community’s grounds allow residents to enjoy the Arizona weather in a safe environment; the secured walking paths and enclosed gardens encourage a daily stroll, and residents can rest on the patio area’s comfortable benches to enjoy the beautiful views.

Your loved one will never be alone at Copper Canyon. The community’s team includes a highly-trained Executive Director, Health Services Director, and Life Enrichment Director. Each of these professionals, as well as the rest of the staff, are trained to provide customized, person-centered care to each resident, including options for health monitoring, medication management, assistance with dressing, bathing, grooming, and oral care.

All of these programs provide a lifestyle that supports your loved one’s quality of life in addition to their physical health.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Copper Canyon, contact our friendly team today.

Preventing Anxiety And Agitation Leads To a Higher Quality of Life For Those Experiencing Memory Challenges

Many people mistakenly believe that the symptoms of dementia are limited to memory-related experiences, such as forgetfulness. However, research suggests that up to 80% of people with dementia also experience anxiety and agitation, which can cause emotional distress for them as well as for their caregivers.

Agitation is a general term describing a restless or upset state in which a person displays excessive motor activity or verbal or physical upset. Agitation can be caused by a number of factors, including medication changes, environmental changes, or any other situation that introduces a new stimulus that is difficult for the person to process. Situations that can cause agitation include changes in residence, changes in caregiver arrangements, travel, or the unfamiliarity associated with new people, events, or locations.

Fortunately, the caring staff at Stone Valley Assisted Living and Memory Care Community is trained and experienced in preventing agitation in their valued residents. Stone Valley has provided the following tips to caregivers who want to prevent agitation in their loved ones.

Create a calm, steady environment

One of the most common causes of agitation in those experiencing memory challenges is their environment. If their environment is changed or has too many stimuli, your loved one may have difficulty processing this information and may become agitated. Here are a few things you can do to create a calming environment:

  • Remove environmental distractions such as background noise, glare, or background distractions such as radio or television, when possible.
  • Provide your loved one with a safe, comfortable, quiet space for them to enjoy when they begin to become agitated.
  • Simplify your loved one’s tasks and routines. The more straightforward, simple, and constant you can make their daily routine, the better.

The professionals at Stone Valley have carefully designed their community to provide a calming, steady environment for the residents, including comfortable living spaces and productive, enjoyable daily routines.

Plan enjoyable activities, including physical activity

For those living with memory challenges, participating in a familiar activity that they enjoy can have a relaxing effect as well as provide an opportunity to connect with others. Therefore, the staff at Stone Valley has created an activity calendar full of both physical and mental activities to keep residents engaged and happy.

Those with memory challenges may experience particular benefits from era-appropriate music, which the community incorporates into its music therapy activities. According to the Mayo Clinic, listening to or singing songs can help prevent agitation. The benefits of music are often amplified when combined with movement like dance or clapping along to the beat. Music can also help residents relax and connect with their neighbors and caregivers.

To keep residents happy and engaged, Stone Valley provides specially designed memory care activities programming, including music therapy, aromatherapy, appropriate physical activity, and plenty of opportunities to socialize with neighbors.

Monitor your loved one’s physical comfort

Physical discomfort can cause agitation. Unfortunately, your loved one may have difficulty communicating their needs prior to becoming agitated. In order to prevent agitation, address your loved one’s pain, hunger, thirst, toilet needs, fatigue, and any infections or skin irritation. Make sure they are dressed in comfortable clothing that fits and ensure that the room is a comfortable temperature.

In addition, frequently check with your loved one’s doctor regarding any medications that could cause agitation, particularly sleeping pills, anxiety medication, or pain medication.
The staff at Stone Valley is trained to monitor residents’ needs, even when those needs are not verbally communicated. Residents enjoy delicious meals, safe and comfortable spaces, and enjoyable activities, all of which prevent agitation and provide a superior quality of life.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Stone Valley, contact our friendly team today.

Copper Canyon Uses Healthy Lifestyle Programs To Prevent Nutrient Deficiencies

Everyone knows that it’s important to get their vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, nutrient deficiencies can occur for a variety of reasons, whether it be poor nutritional intake, chronic or acute health conditions, medications, or a combination of these factors.

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition (BJN) found particular deficiencies common in community-dwelling adults over the age of 65. Fortunately, Copper Canyon Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Tucson, Arizona, takes special steps in designing its resident programs in order to help its residents prevent nutrient deficiencies and live a healthy lifestyle

Calcium

According to the BJN study, 65% of men and 73% of women over 65 are deficient in calcium. Initially, a calcium deficiency may not present any symptoms. But in more severe cases or over a prolonged period, low calcium levels can lead to serious symptoms such as muscle cramps and spasms, extreme fatigue, and dry or itchy skin. It can also lead to osteoporosis or osteopenia, which results in low mineral density in the bones.

Calcium can be found primarily in dairy foods and dark green leafy vegetables. Copper Canyon ensures that its unique 24/7 dining program includes these calcium-containing foods so residents can get this necessary nutrient.

Vitamin D

If vitamins and minerals had pals, Calcium and Vitamin D would be best friends. Vitamin D helps the body transport calcium to the bones. But it also helps reduce inflammation, particularly chronic inflammation. Unfortunately, the BJN study found that 84% of men and 91% of women over 65 don’t get enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D is actually manufactured in our skin when we are exposed to sunlight. We can also eat foods containing Vitamin D in order to increase the level of this essential vitamin. Copper Canyon residents get to do both! The community’s grounds are secure and set up to encourage residents to take short walks in the Arizona sun. The community also offers an activity calendar including outdoor activities.

Thiamin

Also known as vitamin B1, thiamin plays a critical role in energy metabolism. This vitamin is particularly important for older adults, as a thiamin deficiency can lead to short-term memory loss, muscle weakness, and cardiovascular symptoms. The BJN study found that found that 50% of men and 39% of women over age 65 were deficient in this essential nutrient.

Thiamin can be found in whole grains, meat, and fish. Copper Canyon makes sure to include plenty of these healthy foods in its dining program.

Magnesium

Magnesium is yet another mineral that helps aid in retaining bone density and muscle coordination. But it is also essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions within the body, and it helps support a healthy heart and immune system. The BJN study found that 73% of men and 41% of women were low in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency may cause fatigue, muscle cramps, mental symptoms, irregular heartbeat and osteoporosis.

Luckily, foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, dry beans, whole grains and low-fat dairy products are all great sources of magnesium, and they are all included in Copper Canyon’s menus.

Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral, meaning that humans only need it in small amounts. But even so, the BJN study found that 30% of adults over age 65 were deficient in this essential nutrient. Selenium plays a role in helping our bodies prevent cell damage, as well as helping maintain metabolism and thyroid function. Selenium deficiency can lead to fatigue, mental fog, muscle weakness, and a weakened immune system.

Selenium can be found in foods like fish, meat, eggs, brown rice, and some nuts and seeds. Many of these options are available for Copper Canyon residents daily as part of their meal plans.

Although many older adults are at risk for certain nutrient deficiencies, Copper Canyon ensures that its dining program and wellness activities are designed to help prevent these common issues.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Copper Canyon, contact our friendly team today.

Community Activities Can Help Keep Residents’ Minds Sharp And Their Souls Happy

Board games and card games are fun to play with friends. But it seems these games may also help protect our brain function as we age. In a report published in the Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences, Scottish researchers suggest that games may help protect seniors from cognitive decline.

This research supports what researchers and experts have suspected for years: that the more we use our cognitive skills, the more likely we are to retain them. That’s exactly why Marshall Pines, an assisted living and memory care community in Evans, Georgia, includes music, games, and other social activity in its programming for residents.

Research suggests that games can keep seniors’ wits sharp

A team of researchers led by Drew Altschul of the University of Edinburgh found that people in their 70s who regularly play board games, card games, or word games score higher on tests of memory and thinking skills than those who don’t play those games. Further, people who increased their game-playing were found to be more likely to maintain those memory and thinking skills as they aged.

Many researchers and experts who study dementia and Alzheimer’s believe that engaging in challenging or complex tasks, or even strategy games, require the exercise of cognitive functions that help protect seniors from cognitive decline. Similar to working out a muscle, exercising one’s brain by playing challenging mental games can help maintain our “mental muscle” as we age.

The experienced staff at Marshall Pines has created a specialized activities calendar for its residents that includes weekly table games and word games in addition to other research-backed programming to support residents’ mental health.

Music therapy can benefit memory care patients

Research also suggests that music can have incredible benefits for residents experiencing memory challenges. According to the Mayo Clinic, listening to or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioral benefits for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Often, someone experiencing memory challenges will retain musical memories, as the key brain areas linked to musical memory are often relatively untouched. The benefits of music are often amplified when combined with movement like dance or clapping along to the beat. Music can also help residents relax and connect with their neighbors and caregivers.

At Marshall Pines, residents enjoy music together every single day, and the community focuses on providing era-specific music to bring back fond memories and decrease anxiety. Residents can enjoy dedicated music sessions daily, including smooth jazz time, spiritual songs, and sing-alongs.

Social activities and interaction lead to a higher quality of life

Aside from the benefits that the games and music provide, research suggests that simply socializing with others can provide tremendous benefits for those experiencing memory challenges. Socialization can help slow cognitive decline; a strong social network appears to help individuals retain more memories than peers who are more isolated. Socialization also boosts self-esteem, which in turn supports better sleep habits, healthier eating habits, and more interest in exercise. Regular socialization also provides a sense of inclusion as well as a strengthened sense of time and place.

Residents at Marshall Pines have multiple opportunities every day of the week to socialize with their peers and the community staff. They can participate in one of the multiple scheduled activities, and they can also socialize at mealtimes or in common areas. Whether residents are playing games, enjoying music, or participating in another activity altogether, the strong social support at a memory care community like Marshall Pines can provide cognitive benefits beyond simply engaging in these activities alone.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Marshall Pines, contact our friendly team today.

Try These Tips as You’re Transitioning Into the Role of Caregiver For Your Loved One

When your loved one starts showing signs of needing memory care assistance, you may be required to start filing an entirely new role of caregiver. And even if you’ve served as a caregiver for other people before, providing care to a loved one with memory challenges is likely to be a completely different experience.

As you’re transitioning to this new role, these tips from Copper Canyon Assisted Living and Memory Care in Tucson, Arizona, can help:

Start with love and empathy

When your loved one begins to show signs of memory challenges, it can be frustrating for you as the caregiver to see the changes they are experiencing. Even though emotions can be running high, try to actively empathize with your loved one and interact with them from a place of love. Try to look at things from your loved one’s perspective—how would you feel if you were in your loved one’s situation, experiencing the challenges they are experiencing? How would you want someone to interact with you?

As you’re navigating these new waters, you’re bound to make mistakes—you’re human, after all. But as long as you’re doing your best, learning as much as you can, and treating for your loved one with plenty of empathy and love, you will be a successful caregiver.

Define success based on your loved one’s needs

As your loved one faces these new challenges, be sure that your expectations of success are in line with their needs and abilities. As their caregiver, you may wish to see them enjoy life exactly as they did before, without any limitations or adjustments. But if that is your only idea of success, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, redefine what success as a caregiver means based on your loved one’s needs rather than your own expectations.

Success as a caregiver means ensuring that your loved one is as comfortable, safe, and happy as possible. And it’s likely that each day will look different—some days will be better than others. But if you’ve done your best to focus on your loved one’s comfort, safety, and happiness, you can consider your day successful!

Understand your loved one’s condition thoroughly

As a caregiver, you will be taking on the responsibility of being in charge of your loved one’s medications, schedule, and safety, as well as other aspects of their life. To take charge successfully, you’ll need to thoroughly understand your loved one’s needs and their doctors’ recommendations for any medical conditions.

Be sure that you are familiar with any medications your loved one is taking, as well as their medication schedule. Ensure that you’re aware of any symptoms or conditions you should be monitoring, as well as any warning signs to watch out for. Finally, talk to your loved one’s doctor about how to regularly reassess and evaluate your loved one’s needs, and when to modify their care plan.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Being the sole caregiver for a loved one experiencing memory challenges can be a taxing job. If you need a break, some additional assistance, or for experienced professionals to take over your loved one’s care, it may be advantageous to find a memory care facility like Copper Canyon.

If you’re going out of town or simply need a break to care for yourself, the community offers short-term and respite stay options for your loved one. They’ll be able to enjoy the facility’s programs, amenities, and experienced staff, and you’ll have peace of mind that they are in good hands.

If your loved one’s needs have changed such that they would benefit from 24/7 professional care, Copper Canyon is ready to welcome them with open arms. The community provides specialized memory care programming to support your loved one’s needs, and you’ll be impressed with the comfortable rooms and luxury amenities.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Copper Canyon, contact our friendly team today.

Looking for an Assisted Living Community in Pittsburgh? Consider a Personal Care Community For Your Loved One

When the time has come to choose a facility for a loved one who needs daily assistance, the choices can be a little confusing. What type of community would serve their needs best? What amenities and care options do you want them to have access to?

The Haven at North Hills Personal Care and Memory Care Facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, embraces seniors in need of assistance with daily activities, personal care, or memory care. The Haven is not an assisted living facility, but rather a luxury personal care and memory care community that can give you complete peace of mind that your loved one is safe, happy, and healthy.

The Haven goes beyond assisted living

Much like a traditional assisted living community, The Haven offers access to medical care, health and wellness programming, emergency call systems, and 24-hour staff supervision to keep your loved one safe and healthy. The community also offers housekeeping, laundry services, social activities, an and all-day gourmet dining program providing three meals a day.

But the Haven at North Hills Senior Residence also offers some benefits that traditional assisted living communities may not offer, including specialized programming designed to enhance the lives of those with memory impairment, kitchen-free apartments to reduce stress and improve safety for residents, and safety checks from qualified staff.

Daily Rhythm Programming enriches residents’ lives

At The Haven, a certified Life Enrichment Director leads the residents in engaging daily activities, weekly on-site social events, and fun cultural excursions as part of a researched-backed health and wellness program. The community’s activities focus on four key pillars of enrichment: Social connection, spiritual support, emotional expression, and intellectual discovery.

To ensure residents receive ample social connection, activities are offered in both large and small group settings that encourage opportunities for socialization, relationship-building, and community amongst residents and team members.

The community also provides residents with spiritual support by recognizing and embracing the needs of each residents’ spirituality through music, discussion, prayer, affirmations, nature, and other diverse means.

The Haven creates opportunities for residents to engage in past passions like art therapy, cooking projects, volunteerism, vocational skills, reminiscing, doll therapy, music therapy, and pet therapy visits.

Finally, the staff promotes brain cognition with educational activities that reflect the interests of the residents’ past professions, lifestyles, and hobbies.

Special Memory Care programming serves those with memory challenges

Traditional nursing homes or assisted living facilities are equipped to handle persons with assisted living needs, but they lack the staff training and infrastructure needed to nurture those with memory challenges such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. In contrast, as dedicated personal care and memory care facility, the Haven takes a holistic approach to provide the very best care for your loved one experiencing memory challenges.

The Haven combines Person-Centered Care with an extensive Memory Care Life Enrichment Program that encompasses the six Sunshine Pillars of Wellness through physical, social, emotional, cognitive, sensory, and spiritual nurturing. This specialized programming enables your loved one to live life to the fullest in a safe and secure environment.

Memory care at The Haven includes research-backed activities such as music therapy, where residents can experience era-specific music to bring back fond memories and decrease anxiety. Residents also experience the community’s Life Skills Stations, where miniature kitchens, faux engines, and mailboxes are among the many real-life scenarios and work the residents did in their youth. The community’s specialized memory care programming also includes socialization, validation techniques, spiritual support, and health and wellness activities.

When looking for a warm, comfortable community for a loved one who needs daily assistance or memory care, look no further than The Haven at North Hills Personal Care and Memory Care Facility and its caring, professional staff.

To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of The Haven at North Hills Senior Residence, contact our friendly team today.