World Alzheimer’s Month: Raising Awareness and Taking Action

September 6th 2023

September is recognized as World Alzheimer’s Month, a global campaign to raise awareness and understanding about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This month serves as an opportunity to educate the public, promote early detection and intervention, and encourage support for individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s. In this blog, we will explore what Alzheimer’s disease is, how you can get involved, and the importance of increasing public awareness.

Understanding Alzheimer’s:

Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for approximately 60-80% of all cases.

Individuals may experience difficulties with communication, problem-solving, and daily tasks as the disease progresses. Alzheimer’s can also lead to changes in personality and behavior, causing confusion and disorientation.

There are many programs that offer support for individuals and their families who are dealing with an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis. Our memory care communities at Grace Management, Inc. utilize The Village Program®. The Village Program® is designed to help residents Reflect on memories and past accomplishments. Rejoice in the successes experienced every day. And Renew their hope and spirits every day.

The Alzheimer’s Association® recognizes The Village Program® Orientation by Grace Management Inc. Memory Care Programming for incorporating the evidenced-based Dementia Care Practice Recommendations in the following topic areas: Alzheimer’s and dementia, person-centered care, assessment, and care planning, activities of daily living, and behaviors and communication.

Getting Involved:

  1. Support Organizations: There are many organizations dedicated to Alzheimer’s research, advocacy, and support that exist worldwide. Consider reaching out to your local chapter of The Alzheimer’s Association® to learn more about how you can support them.
  2. Advocate for Policy Change: Join advocacy groups working to shape policies that support individuals with Alzheimer’s and their families. By contacting your local representatives and voicing your concerns, you can help ensure that Alzheimer’s receives adequate attention and funding for research, care, and support services.

Increasing Public Awareness:

  1. Education Campaigns: During World Alzheimer’s Month, there are many educational campaigns that are launched to increase public knowledge about the disease.
  2. Social Media Engagement: Take advantage of social media platforms to share facts, personal stories, and resources related to Alzheimer’s. Use hashtags like #WorldAlzMonth, #EndAlzheimers, or #KnowAlzheimers to join the online conversation and help spread awareness.
  3. Community Events: Participate in or organize local events to promote Alzheimer’s awareness. Organize walks, runs, or other fundraisers to support research and caregiving organizations. Collaborate with community centers, libraries, and schools to host educational sessions or film screenings related to Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Personal Storytelling: Share your personal experiences with Alzheimer’s disease, whether as a patient, caregiver, or family member. By speaking openly about the impact of the disease on individuals and families, you can help reduce stigma, foster empathy, and encourage support for those affected.

World Alzheimer’s Month is an important opportunity to unite in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. By working together to understand Alzheimer’s, getting involved through volunteering or advocacy, and increasing public awareness, we can contribute to early detection, improved care, and eventually find a cure.

To learn more about Grace Management, Inc. and The Village Program®, visit our communities page to find a Memory Care community near you.

Memory Care: Discover the Difference with The Village Program®

 
August 30th 2023

The challenges presented by memory loss can be difficult to navigate, but we’re here to help every step of the way. We offer an innovative approach for those with memory impairments, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. Our Village Program® offers personalized Memory Care programming that engages residents in activities that may reflect their former schedules, lifestyles, and interests, while helping them feel safe and appreciated. Through enriching experiences, and by establishing caring personal relationships with our residents, we find great sources of enjoyment and comfort—together.

WHAT IS MEMORY CARE?

Long-term Memory Care communities are uniquely dedicated to serving those with memory impairments, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. Within these specialized communities, residents live in private or semi-private suites and receive personal care from associates trained to support those in cognitive decline. Furthermore, residents engage in structured activities intended to assist those with memory loss. Activities include set routines tailored to the individual resident’s needs and preferences.

WHAT IS MEMORY CARE VS ASSISTED LIVING?

Similar to Assisted Living, Memory Care provides residents help with daily tasks. These could include dressing, eating, bathing, walking, and social activities. However, team members in these specialized, long-term care communities receive training on Alzheimer’s and dementia, person-centered care, assessment and care planning, activities of daily living, and behaviors and communication. For this reason, The Village Program® offers a unique approach to the relationships between caregivers and residents in our specialized Memory Care neighborhoods. Through a person-centered approach, team members meet each resident within their reality for happier outcomes and more successful days.

WILL PROGRAMMING ACTIVITIES HELP MY LOVED ONE STAY ENGAGED?

The Village Program® offers personalized programming that engages residents in activities that reflect on past accomplishments and who they were in the early years, rejoice in the successes experienced each moment, and renew their spirits every day. To that end, a relaxed, yet consistent, structure of activities throughout the day offers opportunities for enrichment and engagement designed to retain residents’ cognitive function. The Village Program achieves an enriching lifestyle through structure, familiarity, and a sense of accomplishment, providing a sense of purpose and belonging.

IS A LONG-TERM CARE COMMUNITY SAFE FOR MY LOVED ONE?

Living alone, whether in a single-family home or in a senior Independent Living apartment, can be dangerous for someone with dementia, especially as the disease progresses. Whereas the intimate Memory Care setting provides residents an extra level of security with safety features built into the community’s design and 24-hour caregiver oversight. The specialized setting of a memory care community can help bring peace of mind to you and your loved one.

HOW DO I BEGIN THE CONVERSATION WITH MY LOVED ONE?

The challenges presented by memory loss can be difficult to navigate, but we are here to remind you that you are not alone in handling potentially difficult discussions. Engaging in open, honest dialogue from the beginning sets the stage for a positive journey, and we can help every step of the way.
 

Visit our communities page to find a community near you that offers memory care through The Village Program®.

 

resident and caregiver

Eight Early Signs of Dementia in Seniors

July 5th 2023

Dementia is a progressive neurological condition that affects cognitive function, memory, and behavior. Dementia is more common in older adults, and the risk increases with age. In order to effectively manage and treat dementia, it is crucial to detect the condition at an early stage. Using this blog, we’ll discuss how to recognize signs of dementia in seniors.

  1. Memory loss: Memory loss is one of the most common signs of dementia in seniors. They may forget important dates, names, and events and have difficulty recalling recent conversations or events.
  2. Difficulty with daily tasks: Seniors with dementia may struggle with completing familiar tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, and grooming. They may also have difficulty with following directions or navigating familiar routes.
  3. Poor judgment: Seniors with dementia may show poor judgment and decision-making skills. They may make inappropriate or impulsive decisions and have difficulty understanding the consequences of their actions.
  4. Changes in personality and behavior: Dementia can cause changes in a senior’s personality and behavior. They may become irritable, agitated, or anxious, and withdraw from social activities they previously enjoyed.
  5. Difficulty with communication: Seniors with dementia may have trouble finding the right words or following a conversation. They may also repeat themselves frequently or have difficulty understanding others.
  6. Confusion and disorientation: Seniors with dementia may become easily confused and disoriented, particularly in unfamiliar surroundings. They may also experience difficulty with time and place.
  7. Loss of initiative: Seniors with dementia may lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed and become less socially active. They may also lose motivation and initiative, and become increasingly passive.
  8. Changes in sleep patterns: Dementia can cause changes in sleep patterns, with seniors becoming more restless or experiencing insomnia. They may also become more fatigued during the day.

If you notice any of these signs in a senior, it is important to speak with their healthcare provider. Early detection and diagnosis of dementia can help with effective management of the condition and provide the senior with the best possible quality of life.

The Village Program® is Grace Management, Inc.’s specialized Memory Care program. Our goal is to provide a memory care program with meaningful and enriching activities that create an environment of success for our residents. The Village Program® is designed to: Reflect on memories and past accomplishments. Rejoice in the successes experienced every day. Renew their hope and spirits every day.

Head over to the communities page on our website to find a Grace Management, Inc. community near you.

 

puzzle

Happy Brain Awareness Week!

March 15th 2023

Happy Brain Awareness Week from Grace Management, Inc. It is important to maintain good brain health as we age. Brain Awareness Week is an annual event that focuses on the importance of brain health and brain research. For seniors, this week is a great opportunity to learn about the latest developments in brain science and to understand how to keep our brains healthy and active.

Here are some tips and ideas for seniors to make the most of Brain Awareness Week

Brain Awareness Week is a great opportunity for seniors to learn more about brain health and to take steps to keep their brains healthy and active. By following these tips and ideas, seniors can help maintain their brain health and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

To learn more about Brain Awareness Week, visit their website at: www.brainawareness.org. To learn more about Grace Management, Inc.’s memory care program, The Village Program, check out this blog.

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

November 2nd 2022

November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month – with approximately 500,000 new cases of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States each year, Alzheimer’s is one of the fastest-growing epidemics in the United States.

The Village Program is designed to: Reflect on memories and past accomplishments. Rejoice in the successes experienced every day. Renew their hope and spirits every day. The philosophy of the Village Program is to maintain the dignity of people living with dementia while supporting them to reach their fullest potential. The Village Program is resident-driven, which means that programs are based on their interests, past experiences, and current abilities as associates invite each Village Resident to have an active role in their daily lives through a variety of enrichment opportunities.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website at www.alz.org.

Introducing Ashlea Smalley – National Director of Memory Care and Life Enrichment

October 26th 2022

Ashlea Smalley is the National Director of Memory Care and Life Enrichment at Grace Management, Inc. Ashlea has been working with older adults in some capacity all her life. This has continued into her career for the past 15 years. She has been the National Director of Memory Care and Life Enrichment at Grace Management, Inc. since June 2021.

Ashlea’s passion for older adults is evident; she states that: “Educating others on older adults has always been something that is really important to me. I knew very early on that I wanted to work with the older adult population.”

Currently, Ashlea is pursuing her Doctorate with a specialty in the importance of social connection for older adults and the effects of social isolation. Ashlea stated: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, in my role, I felt helpless in how to support older adults when I couldn’t come into a community.” This spurred her interest in being prepared to help older adults in times of isolation, not only in extreme conditions, such as a pandemic, but also anytime after they move into a senior living community. 

Thank you, Ashlea, for all you do at Grace Management, Inc.!

Questions to Ask Memory Care Communities

October 19th 2022

There are a lot of mixed emotions once you have decided to move your loved one into a memory care community. The process of choosing the best community for your loved one can be daunting and difficult. With variations between communities in amenities, activities, staffing, and more, you may be unsure about how to find the community that fits your loved ones’ needs the best. As you begin the process of visiting memory care communities, asking the right questions can help you determine which community will suit your loved one the best.

What level of care does this community provide? This is the most important question on the list. Memory care communities often provide a certain level of assistance with daily tasks. However, ensuring that the community offers the level of assistance that meets your loved one’s needs is important.

What type of training have associates received? People who work in a memory care community support residents with cognitive impairment and should be professionally trained. You will want to ask specific questions about the training the associates receive and if there are any ongoing training requirements.

Grace Management, Inc. communities provide our associates working within memory care with The Village Program® Orientation – a program recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association® for incorporating the evidenced-based Dementia Care Practice Recommendations in the following topic areas: Alzheimer’s and dementia, person-centered care, assessment, and care planning, activities of daily living, and behaviors and communication.

What is the monthly rate for housing and care? What services does this rate include? The cost of a memory care community may vary depending on the location as well as the unique needs and preferences of your loved one. Prices fluctuate throughout the country, and it is important to explore the cost and what it includes. Other questions to consider asking include: is there an entrance fee? How will the cost be affected if my loved one needs more care in the future?

What type of apartments are available? Are they private or semi-private? If you have a preference for what type of apartment your loved one will be in, this is a great question. Apartment availability varies by community. Some communities may offer private one-bedroom or studio apartments, while others may have the option to be paired with a roommate.

What is the move-out policy? It is an unfortunate reality that a resident may no longer be able to be cared for in some communities due to a handful of factors. The community could no longer be an appropriate fit for the resident and the level of care they need, or they may become aggressive and pose a danger to themselves and those around them. Understanding a community and its policies for moving out will help you, so you aren’t taken by surprise if moving out does become necessary.

What activities are available for residents? Activities are an essential part of any memory care community and vital to residents’ well-being. Not all activities will work for everyone, so it is important that the memory care community you choose for your loved one offers a wide variety of activities to meet each resident’s ranging cognitive levels. A variety of activities should be scheduled morning through evening, so your loved one will experience structure and a feeling or purpose.

How does the community communicate with family? Having regular communication with caregivers is important and comforting for the family. Not only does it ensure you will receive updates on your loved one, but it also will help you ensure that your loved one is getting the attention and care they need.

What do the meal options look like? Most memory care communities offer three meals a day alongside snacks. You will want to ensure the community can accommodate any dietary restrictions or needs your loved one may have.

Finding a memory care community that is right for your loved one is important. We hope these questions will help you in your search for a memory care community.

Are you interested in learning more about Grace Management, Inc. and our memory care communities? Head to our community page and select memory care to see if we have a memory care community near you!

 

caregiver and resident

Reflect. Rejoice. Renew. The Village Program®

July 6th 2022

Memory Care is a special part of senior living. Many of our senior living communities across the country provide our innovative approach we call The Village Program®.

The Village Program® engages residents through authentic, supportive relationships with caregivers and a thoughtful life enrichment program. Our goal is to offer activities and experiences that are renewing and enriching. Each community develops its own customized program based on the residents, their families, and our associates. In every way, a Village is a caring community that grows and thrives.

The basic pillars of The Village Program® are:

  • We Reflect on past accomplishments and who our residents were in the early years.
  • We Rejoice in the successes experienced each day.
  • We Renew their spirits every day.