When you are looking for a memory care community, there are a few things that you should be especially aware of. From staffing levels, on-site nurses, dining experiences, and amenities, we have compiled a list of things to look for in a memory care community.
Resident Engagement – Some memory care communities have an atmosphere that is much more medical in the way they approach their aesthetics, decor, and living quarters. The medical feel that accompanies many memory care communities can contribute to a general lack of leisure and luxury that other retirement communities may exude. At Oakmont of Valencia, we have spared no expense in creating a memory care community that puts resident enjoyment alongside memory care therapies to increase the potential for positive outcomes. For example, our memory care community has engaging activity stations where our residents can immerse themselves in enjoyable tasks that can bring up memories of doing similar tasks in their past. Our activity stations include vanities, workshops, era-appropriate wardrobes, and music listening stations.
While our memory care community is specifically built to be engaging and interactive, it is our complete activity calendar that ensures that each resident always has something to look forward to. Our activities director creates group activities that will build a sense of community and belonging. We also have a variety of outdoor areas where residents can enjoy lovely gardens, walking paths, and great conversations with other residents as well as team members. Our dedicated memory care team also leads regularly scheduled games in a group setting to encourage our residents to continually utilize memory recall through trivia or other forms of brain games.
Dining Options Worth Remembering – Scientific studies have shown links between the senses and memory recall. We have all experienced the sensation of smelling something that reminds us of a specific time and place in stunning detail. Or we may have taken a bite of an apple pie that is just like mom used to make, and we are momentarily transported back to our childhood dining room surrounded by familiar sights and smells. At Oakmont of Valencia, our culinary team recreates meals that are likely to trigger memory recall at specific times of the year. For example, the smell of a seasonal favorite like gingerbread cookies may bring residents back to a specific holiday where they first enjoyed them. Similarly, our culinary team recreates traditional Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and Cinco De Mayo cuisine to encourage memory recall through both smell and taste.
When it comes to memory care, there are so many potential triggers that can improve memory recall, but the sense of smell and taste seem to be chief among them. Our luxury memory care community also has beautiful dining areas where families can come together for holidays, birthdays, and celebrations. Having a familiar meal with familiar faces can also do wonders for memory care residents.
Compassionate & Caring Staff – One of the most critical things to be aware of when selecting a memory care community is the staff that will be attending to your loved one(s). While a deep desire to care for seniors may be enough to qualify some candidates to work with residents at an independent living community, it is nowhere near sufficient for a memory care community. In a memory care community, the staff must be expertly trained to help residents who are dealing with memory-related illness like dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc. The care staff must be able to recognize signs that memory-related illness is getting worse, progressing, or changing. Once a change is detected, they need to be able to communicate these changes to physicians and the family to modify care for the resident.
At Oakmont of Valencia, we take memory care one step further by having a full-time nurse who can react in real-time to the needs of our residents. Our on-site nurse oversees all care-related aspects of our Traditions Memory Care Program and is available to help family members of residents understand the care that is being provided to their loved one(s).
For more information about Oakmont of Valencia and our dedicated memory care options in Valencia, California, please contact us anytime. You can also schedule a tour to see what makes our memory care programs so sought after.