Memory care may be a critical part of maintaining a high quality of life for many seniors. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease will double by 2060. This is why it is critical when choosing a senior living community to consider their approach to memory care. At Traditions, we are committed to caring for the seniors in our care with dignity and a positive approach to care. Learn more about our positive approach to memory care, including simple interventions you can try at home as well.
A Person-Centered Approach to Care
What exactly does a “person-centered” approach to care mean? This means we approach each senior as a unique individual with unique needs. While we use proven interventions to address memory care in general, we approach each person as an individual. For us, it’s all about the relationship that we develop with each person. Developing a solid, positive relationship with each resident and family is vital to a positive and proactive approach. These relationships yield positive outcomes.
Once we really get to know an individual and understand them, we can determine what is working and what is not. We strive to fill each day with meaning. Understanding their likes and dislikes, respecting their values, history, and background, and getting to know the whole person is what make our approach unique and effective.
Watching and carefully observing each individual is key to our positive approach. Actively observing individuals and seeing how they interact in their environment gives us clues to what approaches are working. We listen to what they say and how they sound. We observe what they do and how they physically react to their surroundings. What they show you every day helps us refine our approach to each person.
It's All In The Approach
An important aspect of our positive approach to memory care is how we physically approach and interact with our residents. Creating a positive atmosphere begins simply. Being friendly. A warm smile, or a nice compliment can really impact a person’s mood. We greet and smile at six feet, giving the resident space and time to react. We move slowly and offer a warm friendly handshake. Always be sure to move towards a resident from the front or from the side. Greet them with a friendly handshake and tell them your name. Get on the person’s level so they know you see and hear them and are genuinely interacting with them.
What To Do When A Person is Distressed
Unfortunately, regardless of how effectively you implement any proven strategy there are times when seniors suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s will become distressed. By maintaining a positive approach to care, our staff is quickly able to intervene in these situations. Begin by mirroring the person’s emotion. If they are upset, project concern to let them know you align with them. Always be supportive, never confrontational. - Let the person move toward you, but keep your body turned to the side. If the person is seated, get permission to enter their personal space and kneel. Never tower over them Validate their feelings or repeat their words to back so they know you are hearing them correctly. These simple strategies can help a person in distress calm down and return to a positive space.
Support For Residents and Families
We understand that the brain changes for a person with dementia. Understanding these changes are occurring allows us to adjust our approach to each person’s individual situation. We believe in meeting the resident and their family where they are in their journey and adjusting our care to make them feel, safe, happy and comfortable. Remember, you are not alone.
The Varietas® Memory Care Program From Traditons
Each senior in our care has a unique life story, something that is very important to how we care for him or her. The Varietas® Memory Care Program relies on the things we learn about your loved one to comfort and connect with them in a warm and nurturing environment.
Studies show that socialization has a positive impact on seniors and can reduce, even prevent the signs of depression. So, each resident's Daily Routine consists of their own combination of therapeutic and positive stimulation, including expressive arts, exercise, nutrition, reminiscing, cognitive activities and social engagement with peers, staff and families.
The Varietas® Program is a model of caring for individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias. The tenets of the program are proven to maximize the quality of life for individuals suffering from these disorders.