Memory Care Foundations
Dementia Care Foundations at Sanctuary Health Network is a specialized method of training and supportive environments.
Although Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent form of dementia, our environments can support other types as well. These include vascular dementia, Picks Disease, alcohol-induced dementia, and early onset.
The goal of the Foundation Unit is to create ways for residents to stay their highest practical physical, mental , and psycho-social well-being.
To this end, our team members put the following practices in place:
- Upon entering the unit, we have added a seating area with music playing. This music is appropriate for our population and is played at a medium volume level.
- The porch area is being utilized as an office center. Many residents spent time in their professional life in an office environment. This is an area some residents find to be familiar, and therefore calming. There are papers, file folders, a pencil holder, and a large calculator.
- There are sensory pictures all over the unit. Residents can look at the pictures, touch them, and engage in discussions.
- At each exit, there are self-initiated activities that can be utilized. Examples include soft cloth with tags, wash cloths with various textures, and pictures with captions in large print.
- During mealtimes, soft music is played. Smaller radios are utilized close to residents experiencing anxiety. Music preferences are determined through meeting with family members.
- Our team added an engagement area that can be used in a small group, during an interaction with family, or self-initiated. These items include:
• A basket with laundry to sort and fold. There is a large print note on the basket that reads, “please help fold these clothes for guests arriving tonight.”
• An area for residents to work on fine motor skills. These can be moved around the location and can be used to redirect residents.
• Stuffed animals are used for comfort, and to engage in conversation with the residents.
- Lavender has been used in aromatherapy for many years as a scent of comfort and calm. We spray organic lavender water around the foundation at least once a day.
Things that we are adding to the foundation in the near future:
- Evening programs that would have typical in the home to wind down. (Evening snack,etc.)
- A video of a restaurant setting during meal service.
- Contrasting plate colors and placemats…you eat with your eyes first!
- A small area for residents that are experiencing anxiety to calm down.
- Possible shelving in the dining and activity rooms for self-initaited programs. These would be high enough for staff members to reach…research has found that dementia patients rarely (if ever) reach upwards.
- Shades open during the day, and start to close after dinner. This will help residents who have their days and nights mixed up, sundowning, as well as decrease rates of depression (seratonin).
- Overall environment…we are touching up the paint and cleaning on a regular basis.