Page 45 - BusinessWest April 28, 2021
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 they desire.
Or, as she put it, “although they may no longer
be able to dance, they still enjoy the music.” Kimball Farms social worker Jackie Trippico
leads what is known as Reminisce Group. This weekly activity begins with staff presenting a specific topic and asking residents to recall a sig- nificant memory related to that theme. Cornwell said one popular reminiscence involved talking about a trip to an ice-cream parlor.
Providing comfortable spaces is also part
of the program. Kimball Farms’ memory-care neighborhood is a secure, self-contained com- munity. Private apartments are modeled after a typical home with an open floor plan, while resi- dents also have access to a secure outdoor court- yard so they can garden, see visitors, or take part in other activities. The staff ratio is higher than traditional assisted living, and they have all been trained in specialized dementia care.
When COVID-19 hit last year, families could no longer make in-person visits to residents in LEP. Cornwell said the activities professionals and nursing team quickly adapted to using tablets to arrange virtual visits or phone calls so families
could stay informed on the care and well-being of their loved ones. Celebrating special occasions simply became virtual events.
“Zoom birthday and anniversary parties, as well as Skype holiday festivities, became our new normal,” she explained.
As COVID vaccine levels rise, Kimball Farms is able to welcome families to visit by appointment. Cornwell reported that residents and their families have been thrilled to resume the personal visits.
“We are so grateful to our residents and their families because they worked with us to find cre-
ative and innovative ways to stay engaged and informed, while at the same time keeping every- one healthy.”
“We are so grateful to our residents and their families because they worked with us to find creative and innovative ways to stay engaged and informed, while at the same time keeping everyone healthy.
As more Americans reach their senior years and live longer than previous generations, the demand for memory-care facilities to treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will continue to increase.
According to Seniors Housing Business maga- zine, from 2013 through 2018 (the latest figures available), the number of new memory-care units increased by 55%.
Cornwell advises those who are looking at senior-living options to consider the continuum of care a community offers. Healthy seniors who may choose independent living in senior housing to downsize from their homes need to think about future needs as well, she said.
“The community they choose should be a place that will provide them with the best quality of life, for the rest of their life, with increasing lev- els of care when and if they need it.” u
  Heidi Cornwell says families looking for a senior-living community should consider its continuum of care.
bolster self-esteem, and we treat them with the utmost dignity and respect.”
Safe Spaces
As research on dementia has evolved, caregiv- ers have increased their understanding on how to manage the condition. Embracing the skills that remain for those with dementia can encour- age feelings of acceptance and personal suc- cess. That’s important, Cornwell said, because, even though the disease can have an effect on a person’s ability to communicate or recall recent events, they still have a sense of the quality of life
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