Memory Care is a living environment for those with symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Kelley Smith describes CarePartners Living cottages. Activities need to be set up differently for those needing memory care. The smaller the environment, the better, to ensure a better quality of life and feeling needed.
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The following podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders. Radio and welcome back everyone. We are here with Kelly Smith again from care partners. And Kelly, you’ve been so helpful in helping us on understand independent retirement living, assisted living, and now we move into memory care, women care, I believe, is your sweet spot. Yes, you guys do amazing work for all seniors, but do I really the cottage concept Suzanne has has given us an opportunity to treat these people with respect and dignity and give them back their freedom. I love that. And and so you know, you guys have talked about the cottages for saying, but explain to our listeners today what is the cottages and what is the concept? Okay, I’m talking about a couple things. First of all, the cottage concept is you got four little houses inside of a fenced area, green grass, beautiful plants, so fire walkways outside, sitting guys can walk outside, walk outside and you don’t have to have a caregiver walking along with you because we can see you no matter where you’re at outside. We know who our wanderers are, we know we know our residents. So if you want to go visit the cottage over here year, you want to have lunch at the cottage over here, you want to sit outside for the music event, you want to go to the barbecue. There are things going on all the time. I love with memory care. You’re not going to get forty people to play Bingo. It’s not going to happen. So your activities have to be different. They have to be set up where the things that they enjoy doing or their things that make them feel needed, useful and part of a community. So maybe you got betty, who helps you every day, set up for lunch right, but she feels like she’s part of something and she still needed. We had one, you know, and because they’re small buildings like that, it’s more like a home. Environments exactly dress well, there’re aybody that has Alzheimer exactly. The smaller the environment, the better they’re going to do. And what it’s like is a house. You got to remember too. With dementia, depending on what the type is, they go back in time. So what is your set up to be? Is You get your kitchen and you’re dining room and your living room with a fireplace and big comfy chairs and then you got your bedroom and then there’s bathrooms that everybody shares, and it’s it’s supposed to and it works because our residents too extremely well. There again, our life expectancies insane, but it’s what we hope. We want to them to have a great just because they have dementia doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a great quality of life, and that’s what we’re trying to give them every day. is is that feeling needed, feeling part of something, because when they first start to get dementia, they might not be able to tell you what it was like, but they will never forget that feeling something’s not right. I don’t fit in anymore. I can’t keep up with my friends. Now they’re in a community where they’re around other people. So I’ve ever seen autistic children. You put them with other kids, they don’t thrive right. You put them in with other autistic children, they all three better. Yes, same thing with dementia. You put you put our lovely people together and you watch them all thrive. Wow, because they’re not feeling put down, they’re not feeling that they don’t fit in, and that’s a huge, huge difference. Well, and you know, I think Kelly. One of the things about memory care, and and you know, I know that if mom or dad have symptoms of dementia and, you know, so long, sometimes they stay way too long. I belong to several facebook groups and it breaks my heart some of these family members that are trying to take care of a senior with Alzheimer’s dementia in a home, you know, it at home where they’re, you know, trying to deal with you know, I just heard a story that their cat broke that there. The grandfather broke the cat’s leg because he’s swatted the cat because he’s got advanced Alzheimer’s, right, and here’s this woman that’s just so. This is a family cat that’s been a you know, that’s their family member, right, and they their beloved pet. And I, you know, I’m the first one to say, you know what, grandfather needs to go to medmuck care. This is the tying sometimes, I think, with guilt, where we want so bad to take care of our parents because they took such good care of us. Sure, yeah, I look at myself and I think what a big cluts growing up. I’m fifty three and I made it because my parents took good care of us. Right, right. So, okay, we want to take good care of them. Sometimes, honoring your loved one is putting them in a situation where you’re giving them back their dignity. Your Dad doesn’t want you to give him a shower, I promise you that he would be a lot better off with a caregiver helping him. Absolutely, because then you change the roles. Now he’s not your dad anymore. Now you’re his caregiver. The other gift that we try to do is give families back their loved one. Go back to being the daughter. Come visit now, I’m glad out. So important. Yeah, come see him and have lunch with him and spend quality time where they take down, go down to the beach, exactly, have a wonderful time with him, but don’t be the one that does his care all the time, because then you’re missing out on those opportunities when he does have those moments of clarity, you’re going to be so worried about making sure you got all the soap out of his hair. You’re not going to be paying attention to those magical moments. Absolutely that is so important and and realizing to that you’re not you’re not a professional. You don’t have the skill, said, as a daughter or a son or that’s why hard thing to handle to take care of a senior that is getting progressed in Alzheimer’s and, you know, or dementia, and and the thing that you know being having them in an environment that will have professional support around them. And I think the other big pieces the whole isolation factor exactly. You know, there’s many studies out there that have said, you know, dementia, Alzheimer’s will escalate much more quickly in isolation than exactly social environment sure will. So your to take care of that loved one, it means to have them in an environment that will support them. That’s the best thing to it is you got to remember those caregivers. You’re trained differently, right, right, they are all dementia trained and trained constantly. Huh. There’s new training coming out all the time and we go above and beyond with the state requires, because we know this is this isn’t this isn’t just a job. Right, this is a heart felt that pass it’s a heartfelt passion and and you got to love these people. You know, it’s the least that they deserve. Well, and I’m you know again. So grateful for your concept and we are talking again to Kelly Smith, and Kelly is the vice president of marketing for care partners living. And you guys have communities. Amazing. Thank you, lays. Now your cottages, since we’re talking about cottages, how many cottages? Location? Seven. Seven. So we have Marysville, Mill Creek, Renton, university, Plays Lacy, edgewood. We got a couple more in the hopper. COVINGTON will be next. Wow, our memory care communities. They just do rent in cottages in Mill Creek. Yeah, you’re dude, you say did your creek was our very first one. So our smallest one is that’s your is your farthest north, Thursday father’s north is Mary Mare’s. Well, that’s a cottage. Yeah, yeah, that’s perfect. Yeah, so your, you guys have really done amazing things with your cottage. Is Constant and and certainly you know understanding a little bit more about you know the process and that a daily environment for a loved one. Now and and I love the fact that a senior can walk outside you better, like in this weather. I mean I know that there’s a lot of times seniors are at home and they have advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and are locked in the house. Yeah, and they look out the window look at this beautiful day we’re having today. As an example, right, I went out to Marysville one day and they were having a big old barbecue and I went out there and there was all these residents walking around with it. There no socks and shoes in the grass, and I thought, Caley, you know what I did that day? I went home and took my socks and shoes off and I walked around in the grass because I was like, I forgot how good that feels. Yeah, but it’s those little things, it’s the little things that make these folks remember that life is still worth living and you and you know, and it’s that respect and himen dignity which I think is so valuable. Well, it’s like, for example, we you know, when you talk about memory care, a lot of times what happens with people too, is they start having continents issues. I hate it when somebody says, yeah, my dad’s incontinent. Let’s change that verbiage. Your Dad has continents issues. Let’s fix the problem. And what you have to do in memory cares find out why. Right, what’s going on? What’s keeping them from using the toilet appropriately. Sometimes they just need that help two or three times a shift. Right. The adults put protective garments, and don’t never call them diapers around me, but adult protective garments are for those accidents there not to keep them in all days so you don’t have to deal with them. Right, exactly, and it but it’s having staff that’s trained understand what’s going on with your loved one so that their dignity is intact. I don’t care if you have dementia or not, when you have an accident in front of other people, you know it great absolute and so they’re you’re embarrassed and what can we do to again, it’s all about the care. It’s all about the day to day. You walk into one of our communities and there’s you know, there’s a Mr you know, Jones hippop. Can’t tell you his name, but he’ll be laying on the couch right. Well, that’s what he would do at home. Sure. So this is your home? Yes, it turned out fireplace up, buddy. Let’s get you a blanket. Well, and I love that. And the the other thing that I love about you know, memory care places or communities is the fact that there are stuff there, that they have methods, you know, like therapies. That, yeah, that can help to to keep that mind more active. You’ve been I you know, I’ve heard so many amazing things with art and and drying where you can all of a sudden brings that Alzheimer’s, you know, advanced Alzheimer’s person back to drawing a picture. Maybe it’s a music and news in works big music is amazing. You know. I remember seeing a video once with a gentleman that had like stage six Alzheimer’s, like really towards the end, and they go in and they first played New York, New York from my Michael Bloublet I think it was, and he didn’t respond very much. Then they played it the same song with Frank Sinatra and he started singing. Isn’t that awesome? Isn’t that amazing, so wonderful? Yeah, I mean just but that’s the kind of stuff we look at. That’s why the life story that’s family fills out for us is so important, because we want to get that resident acclimated as quick as we can, but we also want to make sure we’re paying attention if their favorite smell is lavender and you want to get some some lotion to sit and rub on MOM’s hands because she gets anxious and that calms her down. Great. You know what happens? Yeah, you don’t use a lemon scented thing because he hates that. You know, we right. You got to know your residence. But the more we know them too, it also helps us when they get to that end stage and they can no longer tell us how they’re feeling. We’ve learned them so well we know by their body language and they look on their face what’s going on, and then we can be proactive to take care of their problem. Right. Well, you know what, I am so glad to have you here and you’re going to be here from the next segment and we’re going to talk a little bit about families now you know, and how care partners can support the families through the process and how you can support good left when while they’re living in senior living. Kelly’ll be right back. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders. Radio to contact care partners living co to care partners livingcom
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Originally published May 25, 2019