By Lorelei Lawson
We’ve all had them: those moments when we can’t find the car keys, when we walk into a room and forget why we entered, or when we struggle to come up with the name of an acquaintance to go with a face. We call them “senior moments” and laugh them off. But for millions of Americans, watching those they love — be it a parent, spouse or other loved one — struggle, those senior moments are not a laughing matter as they progress and become more frequent or more alarming.
What can we do when our loved one experiencing memory loss issues cannot be left alone in their home for safety reasons, but is still physically able and active? Opening in late summer, there is a new solution to that dilemma for those in the greater Springfield area.
Reflections Memory Care, by the Villas of Holly Brook, is ready to help your loved one enjoy their later years to the fullest, even when they have reached the point where living with family or in their own homes with assistance is no longer feasible.
More than five million people in America are struggling with memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease, and as the baby boomer generation ages, that number will rise exponentially, according to Patrick Lam, executive director of Reflections Memory Care in Chatham. These citizens are not ready for a skilled care nursing home, but they need more services than can be delivered at home or in a retirement community.
Reflections Memory Care will bridge that gap for families and will help keep those suffering from memory loss happier, more active, and more engaged in daily life and family through their person-centered approach in their beautiful new facility.
Reflections Memory Care communities offer residents a multitude of services that will allow each resident to pursue their peak level of health. Programs work to bring wholeness and fulfillment to clients and focus on areas of personal wellness, be it emotional, intellectual, physical, social, or spiritual.
The highly trained staff at Reflections is well-qualified to assist those who are experiencing confusion, wandering, sundowning, and disorientation. They can also help when loved ones begin to lose recognition of familiar faces and tasks.
Reflections implements these concepts through a slate filled with fun and lively activities, inspired dining, special events, group activities, arts and crafts, music therapy, and social interaction with staff members, other residents, volunteers, and their own families.
All new residents are encouraged to learn their way around and meet their new neighbors right away. The social, friendly environment makes it easy to make new friends and live full, happy lives.
Designed to Engage
Each wing of resident rooms at Reflections is more reminiscent of an upscale hotel than a senior-living facility. A bright, tastefully furnished, central lobby greets visitors, with offices and a parlor flanking the entryway. Two identical, secured wings are located to the left and right of the lobby, and this is where residents spend much of their day.
An inviting fireplace with a grouping of chairs and sofas welcomes seniors and backs onto a “therapeutic kitchen.” This kitchen includes all appliances, as well as a stunning granite breakfast bar, where residents can pull up a stool.
“The kitchen is really the heart of the home,” Lam said. “And here, residents can help in food preparation, just like most of them did all their lives.”
A glass-front memory box is mounted outside each resident’s door containing treasured mementos, reminders of favorite hobbies, and family photos.
Branching out from the open kitchen are several tables-for-four, where residents eat their meals and take part in group activities. Just past the eating area, a large, eye-catching aquarium filled with brightly colored fish bubbles away. At the far end of the social area is an indoor veranda. The roofed structure features two white wooden rocking chairs and brings to mind a wide front porch on a pleasant summer evening.
An exercise room runs along one side of the common area, where residents can watch a flat-screen television as they work out on apparatus designed for seniors. There is also a visitor room with toys and games for children and comfortable seating for all.
While laundry service is provided, clients do have access to the laundry room if they prefer to do their own washing. A full-service salon and barbershop is shared by the two wings, as is a sensory room for when residents need a space to calm down or take a break.
The rear of Reflections is a beautifully designed and landscaped patio area with large, comfortable outdoor furniture where residents can enjoy mild weather or take in the sun amid colorful plantings of flowers.
Resident rooms are spacious with wide doorways and plenty of storage space. Bathrooms feature zero-clearance showers with a bench, a brightly lighted vanity, and convenient rails in the toilet area.
Staying Active, Staying Engaged
Encouragement and support are offered to each individual at Reflections, and each day is dedicated to making the best of whatever comes — living in the moment and enriching the lives of residents. A typical day at Reflections begins with breakfast for all residents, and then the fun begins.
“By 9:30, everyone has usually finished up breakfast, and at 10 we start an activity,” Lam said.
Bingo is popular with the residents, and they keep busy with other games until lunch is served at 11:45. They also play trivia games, get their nails done, and get creative with arts and crafts projects. Crossword puzzles are a hit, and residents play “Name That Tune” and sing karaoke. They also take scenic drives around the area.
The afternoon is filled with more activities. “We might do some hands-on work with a tool kit or play ball,” Lam said. “They can also do puzzles or crafts.”
Another activity residents enjoy is baking in the therapeutic kitchen, or just making a cup of tea in the afternoon.
Each activity offered at Reflections is focused on each individual patient, not the whole building. Staff work to ensure that residents are successful in their daily life while emphasizing each one’s strengths and maintaining their dignity.
Family participation is encouraged, and Reflections works hard to keep families apprised of any improvements, successes, changes, or concerns for their loved ones.
Peace of Mind
Reflections Memory Care Communities recognize that each individual has special preferences and special needs, so the person-centered program offers a combination of flexible services tailored to each resident at an all-inclusive rate.
A nurse is on hand 24 hours a day, and each resident has a 24-hour medical alert system. The nurse will also oversee the patient’s medications, making sure each patient takes their medication
The therapeutic kitchen is open 24 hours a day for refreshments or beverages. An in-house beautician is provided, as well as a spa, sensory room, and wellness center. Art therapy, music therapy, horticultural therapy, and scheduled outings keep residents active and social.
When needed, trained staff can help residents with all activities of daily living, including toileting, grooming, bathing, and dressing.
Weekly housekeeping and laundry are also included, or more often if necessary.
A monthly family support group provides regular education on topics relevant to the needs of the family and to their loved one struggling with dementia.
The staff at Reflections is also trained to recognize when loved ones begin to near the end of their journey. They will work closely with hospice services to maintain the patient and keep them comfortable, including turning the patient and administering medications.
If you are considering placement for a loved one with memory problems, Reflections will do a thorough screening and assessment to ensure proper placement. Private rooms are available, each with their own bath, but rooms connected by a jack-and-jill bathroom are also available.
Each patient at Reflections is there on a month-by-month basis. No long-term contracts are required. Respite care, providing short-term stays for patients whose caregivers must be away, are also available.
There is assistance for military veterans and their spouses, and Reflections can help families apply for this assistance. The facility also qualifies for those who have long-term care insurance.
Studio apartments are filling up fast at Reflections Memory Care. To talk about the program or to set up a tour, contact Patrick Lam at 217-508-8527.
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