Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

A Look From the Other Side


Submitted by Lutheran Hillside Village

In June, Lutheran Hillside Village will debut SAIDO Learning®. An innovative, non-pharmacological treatment that has been shown to improve the symptoms of memory loss among older adults, SAIDO Learning will be exclusively offered to residents of Lutheran Hillside Village. While staff members anxiously await and are trained on offering SAIDO Learning, they look to their sister community in Glen Carbon, Illinois.

Meridian Village Senior Living Community has offered SAIDO Learning for the past three years. The SAIDO Learning method involves a caregiver (called a “supporter”) trained to work with two older adults (called “learners”) by engaging them in a series of precise, yet simple, arithmetic, writing, and reading exercises.

Catherine Deist is the Active Living Coordinator at Meridian Village but also a supporter. She knows the value SAIDO Learning can have in the lives of residents and what it can do for Lutheran Hillside Village. “This is one of the biggest benefits of being a Life Plan Community of Lutheran Senior Services. We share with one another best practices that impact our residents.”

Catherine engages learners in the accomplishment of repeated successful exercises, progressing to new material at the learner’s own level and pace. This process fosters confidence and the ability and initiative to advance. Most notably, the result is an improvement in cognitive function.

“In supporting our SAIDO Learners, we see them respond to us with beautiful smiles and increased confidence as they complete the daily work and hear the genuine compliments of the efforts they are showing,” says Catherine. “We have seen learners who were previously non-communicative begin to offer verbal responses to us after the repeated sessions.”

Her supporter role has allowed incredible progress to be made. “It is wonderful to see them become more autonomous and make choices in their everyday lives, even if it is being able to decide that they want coffee or tea for breakfast,” says Catherine. “They made that decision! We cherish every step, no matter how small! It is a privilege to be a part of their lives.”

For more information on SAIDO Learning and the role supporters play in improving the symptoms of memory loss, call Lutheran Hillside Village at 309-692-4600. New memory care apartments are now available!