Over the past 10 – 15 years, the model for Alzheimer’s and dementia care has not changed a great deal. Typically, the emphasis has been on providing a locked environment for a large number of residents, most often on the second or third floor, that will keep residents safe and provide for their medical needs. Activities were typically planned with a focus on keeping the whole group of residents busy rather than understanding each person’s unique interests and preferences. Additionally, the resident’s typical daily routine – what/when they eat, what day/ time they take a shower, when they get to go outside, etc. – is dictated and scheduled by what is convenient for the facility and the staff. The focus seemed to be on housing a large number of people in an institutional setting rather than creating a home that engages residents in meaningful activities.
Envisioning a Better Way
After working with seniors for many years and going through our own personal experiences involving family members with Alzheimer’s disease, we decided that it was time to create a new standard of how we support and care for people with various forms of dementia.
- Our community offers a smaller home environment that was specifically designed for a maximum of 16 residents per home. Each home has a comfortable, open floor plan with its own accessible outdoor spaces including memory gardens, walking paths, and a beautiful pond and fountain.
- We take a person-centered approach to providing care that focuses on each individual resident’s needs and interests. Building personal relationships with our residents, understanding the “little things” that bring them comfort, health, and joy, is a key element to their quality of life.
- We offer an environment that supports each resident physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially while adding meaning and purpose to their life. We develop an Individual Life Services Plan that considers the needs of the whole person.
- Our Life Enrichment Program is led by our Activities Director and each homes dedicated Homemaker. We offer a tailored approach to providing meaningful and engaging activities.
- We strive to partner with families to create a collaborative partnership among everyone involved that ultimately enhances each resident’s daily life experiences.
- The Heritage is locally owned and operated, which means that there is no large corporation dictating how we do things. We can adjust and grow in ways that make sense for our residents. Also, residents and families can communicate directly with our owner and president to offer suggestions and feedback.