Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Alzheimer's Disease /Dementia: How to determine if an Assisted Living has a good Memory Care Program

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What are the important features of a good memory care program in assisted

living? Hi. My name is Steve Chapek. Thank you for joining us today. If this is your

first time joining us please hit the subscribe button and the like button. If

you're joining us again thank you so much. We appreciate your support. Today I

want to talk to you about the important features to look for in a memory care

program in assisted living. I want to ask you a question. Do you think that the

activities is the most important feature in a memory care program? It's kind of a

trick question. Yes of course the activities are important in a memory

care program; however, something I want to make sure to bring to light as well.

Is the importance of the daily routine with the caregivers working with the

residents. The caregiver should be walking the resident through their daily

routine and just giving them cues and supervision. For the sake of this

discussion. Let's just say that this assisted living has residents in their

memory care that are still social. That are able to get around well but it is

their mind that is causing them trouble. The caregiver should come in in the

morning and instead of just picking out clothes for the resident, they should

involve the resident. They should bring the resident to either the closet where

there might be just a few items a few outfits to choose from. Or if it's a

large closet they should have already pulled out two or three maybe even four

at the most outfits. For them to determine which one

they'd like to wear that day. If it was a shower day, that they wouldn't just do

the whole shower process. They would encourage the person and that would give

them cues throughout the process of showering. And again just think of normal

daily routines that you would do throughout the day and include that into

your thoughts of a good memory care program. But having the caregivers assist

in supervising guide the residents throughout those those processes.

But as that goes on they would also just like we would at the house

maybe help make the bed. Now let me be clear on this, if the resident didn't

want to help make the bed that is perfectly fine. They should not have to.

But most of the time if you're wanting someone to feel like this is their home

or this is where they're welcome to be and to stay. Those normal normal daily

routines become kind of second nature. A caregiver might say, "hey would you mind

helping me with the bed?" And the resident will get on one side and the

caregiver would get on the other and they would fix the bed. If the resident

was struggling to make it look perfectly. That's fine the caregiver should never

say anything about it. It's not really the residents responsibility to fix all

that anyways. It's the staff's. The reason why the resident's being involved is so they feel

purpose. If the bed wasn't done real well in the resident side, later after maybe

the resident was eating breakfast. The caregiver could come back in and fix

that area for them and make it look nice and never say a word to the resident

about it. Of course, after breakfast some of the residents might like to take

their plate up to wherever the the dirty dishes go. And that's just fine. Some even

like to still wipe off the tables, push in the chairs. That's great! That's a

purposeful event for them. Usually in a good memory care program then after

breakfast starts more of the activities. And so this is where most people get

hung up and think just about activities as they're thinking about memory care

programs. But a good memory care program, the activities program, typically has

exercise starting out, getting their blood pumping, early in the morning. After

breakfast maybe 9:30, 10:00 or 10:30 a.m. And then right after that, drinking some

water and having some type of nourishment. Little, you know, oranges or

orange slices or some type of snack. The staff could also be doing some type of

reminiscence with them. Talking with them about a date and time maybe back on

this day back in 1945 this was happening. And getting

them involved in that conversation. Another neat thing and I want to ask you

a question to get your, your mind going. Do you think a TV should ever be used in

the activities program of, for memory care? Most people feel like maybe not

because it will become kind of a babysitter. Where all of a sudden the

TV is always on. I would say yes though and let me tell you why. Smart TVs now

can be such a great component of a memory care program. And what I mean by

that is imagine having a group of residents sit down in front of a Smart

TV. And you start pulling up old cars different pictures of different models

of cars from the 50's or 60's or even 70's or 80's. But you start showing those on

the screen. And you have either the men or the ladies start to say, "you know

I had that car, that was, that was one of my first cars" or "that was the first car

we got after we got married" or "we had that car when our kids were little." So

again it's it's getting them involved in reminiscing and thinking about good

memories and things of the past. Men are often difficult, a little bit more

difficult, to figure out what activities to do with them. So using the TV and for

a lot of them that were in the military maybe showing different types of

aircraft. And seeing what they say. Of course, we'd never want to have anything

that would stir worrisome or frightful memories. But maybe even a

baseball field or even a park or a college campus or a city. And having

certain photos that you're showing them of that city. So don't put the TV

completely away for memory care but it should be used strategically and only

for certain times in my estimation. As the residents are going through the day

now it's lunchtime. And again they might like to help even

make sure that the tables are ready for, for people to come and eat at. And after

they have their meal; for memory care it really depends on how far along a person

is with their impairment. Some of them might want to take a nap

after after lunch. And that is great! That's not a problem. And especially if

they always did that at the house before they came there. That's great!

After that nap and it shouldn't be a two and a half or three hour nap. It should

be a 45-minute nap possibly or a little more maybe a little less. But get them

back up and going. And usually the big activity of the day is usually around

that one, right after lunch, maybe around 1:30 or 2:00pm and it might be something

using art or a craft project. It might be going out and going for a scenic drive.

It also could be going to a bowling alley or going fishing. It's really

limitless. It's just dependent on the abilities of the residents. Then going

into the evening time; of course, there's a meal time again. But regarding the

memory care programming, in regards to after dinner. It's important not to

continue to do very high energy activities because you're wanting folks

to now start sensing that it's getting ready to be bedtime relatively soon.

Sitting and hearing stories or having a book reading time. It also could just be

another time where the folks start reminiscing. I want to say this now... There

are quite a few family members that when they come through a memory care program.

They're wanting it to look like a Senior Center. They're wanting to see

constant activities and I understand why they feel that way. It's much better than

seeing the residents sitting there and doing nothing. Totally agree with that!!

But I want to have you think through this with me for a second. We want them

to feel at home in that environment as much as they can.

We want them to feel comfortable. We want them to be able to feel so comfortable

that later that evening they're gonna be sleeping there in their apartment. So in

my humble opinion there must be a balance between a good amount of

activities, recreational activities and things like that. And a feeling of this

is home. Where it's not constant painting and drawing and cooking classes and

all sorts of things like that. You want it to feel more like in our home but an

active home. So in most of our homes we don't do stuff constantly. So if you

think about going on vacation. You have a great time. You have an action-packed

time of being on vacation and doing a lot of things. But even in that beautiful

setting, at some point, you're ready to go home. And I often feel that that's what

we want to be careful of. If we've got too much going on non-stop residents

with dementia can start to feel like well this can't be home because this

isn't what I do at home. So there's got to be a good balance of having an

environment that's very soothing and calming yet having specific schedule

times where they're doing more things and they're keeping active. So as it

rolls into nighttime the caregivers should be again cueing the residents to

things that they should do. So they should be brushing their teeth maybe for

the ladies they should be taking off makeup. For them they should all be

changing into pajamas and getting ready for for, you know, going to sleep. But

in the meantime as well, some folks want to go to bed a little bit earlier. And if

that's their normal schedule that's fine. But residents that like to stay up a

little later should not be pushed to go to bed earlier. That really is not

following their normal system and their normal schedule and memory care programs

should be created around the resident not around

the staff and their schedules. So the activity schedule is a little different

of course you want to have them at certain times so that they get used to

these events happening at certain times. But in regards to their own wishes and

wants about what time to go to bed there should be flexibility. The residents that

want to stay up a little bit later that should be an opportunity for again a

strategic moment with maybe the Smart TV. Or a TV with a DVD player. I know that in

the past there were DVDs and I know they still sell them but maybe on the Smart

TV you can find this as well. But there are DVDs where it's a fireplace that's been

videotaped and video recorded. And you see the fire burning and that starts you

know diminishing. And that's so soothing and that's such a event that would

happen at nighttime. When people are getting ready for bed or preparing

themselves to go to sleep. So having that going on the TV hearing the fire

crackling and watching that even if it's on the TV and talking amongst themselves

and with a caregiver or staff person soothes a lot of people. And at some point

quite often they're ready for bed. So the caregivers should be very involved in

the daily schedule with the resident. They should not be doing all the

processes for the resident. But as you're going through an assisted living ask,

without giving them the details of what you're expecting to see, ask questions of

the activity staff and also the nursing and caregiving staff there at the

building; what they do with the residents? How they work with them throughout the

day? And listen for those factors to be stated. That they're helping them feel

purposeful by doing things with them. That the residents involved in making

the bed if they wish to. Picking out their clothes. Putting their dirty

clothes in the dirty clothes hamper or something

of that nature. So when you have that type of programming going on you'll see

residents that will be much happier. You want to watch for the dynamics as you go

through the building between the caregivers and the nurses and the

residents. You want to see that dynamic of a environment that seems very fun but

relaxed at the same time. The residents with dementia are very much being cued

by how we respond to them. So if you have caregivers and nurses that are having

fun with them enjoying time with them but are still not too high energy but

are very have a relaxed type of feel to them. And that you even feel comfortable

with them. That's usually a very good sign. So keep those in mind. I've also

done a recent video on the correct ratio of caregivers to residents that I'll

have up here on the screen. That you can go to if you want to know what those

ratios should look like.?. Thank you so much. Have a great day!

The Description of Alzheimer's Disease /Dementia: How to determine if an Assisted Living has a good Memory Care Program