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A New Approach to Dementia Care

English Meadows Senior Living is always striving to improve the care we provide to Residents. That’s why we were so excited to announce the launch of our Lavender Hills Memory Care program earlier this spring.

At English Meadows, there are no tiers of care. Introducing Lavender Hills is a continuation of our policy to support Residents regardless of the scope of their needs. Now, we can provide care more effectively and comprehensively. Our priorities remain to bring happiness to Residents, provide a home-cooked, fine dining experience and to help families better understand their loved one’s needs.

Dementia By Day

The Lavender Hills Memory Care program is founded on Dementia Care Consultant Rachael Wonderlin’s Dementia By Day training. All English Meadows staff is now Dementia By Day certified. Wonderlin’s approach to Memory Care acknowledges that dementia patients often experience “Timeline Confusion” – uncertainty about when or where they’re existing in time. Rather than trying to distract or mislead your loved one about the truth, the Lavender Hills program focuses on Embracing the Reality of those with dementia.

This means that English Meadows Caregivers choose to center what’s true for the person living with the cognitive impairment, even if it feels foreign or incorrect. This validation can actually help the person succeed and feel comfortable and safe.

Combating Confusion

As part of the Lavender Hills launch, English Meadows sent Life History Questionnaires home to Residents’ families. These surveys will assist Team Members in planning activities that help combat confusion for Memory Care patients.

When dementia patients experience Timeline Confusion, Caregivers can help mitigate that anxiety by providing materials that help ground them. For example, if Team Members learn from a Resident’s survey that they used to be a teacher, giving them tools to “teach” such as a chalkboard or desk can help them feel validated and productive. English Meadows staff also built “Shadow Boxes” filled with memorabilia from throughout Residents’ lives, to help them internalize the passage of time.

Executive Chef Bobby Bonds has also incorporated Memory Care activities into his excellent and delicious meal plans. Weekly, Residents have the opportunity to participate in Memory Care snack preparation. These snacks require only a few steps, so Residents don’t lose interest or focus, but also require dexterity and attention. Plus, at the end, Residents enjoy a sense of accomplishment and a yummy treat! Examples of Memory Care snacks include “Scooby Snacks,” waffle cone ice cream sundaes, and Chex Trail Mix!

Upgrading our Campuses

As part of the Lavender Hills Memory Care program, our team has also worked to upgrade English Meadows Campuses throughout Virginia. These upgrades have included interior redesigns that better accommodate Residents and keep them safe.
At our Crozet Campus, for example, we widened doorways and spaced furniture to allow wheelchairs to pass through easily. We also avoided transition strips and dark-colored flooring, which can be dangerous to elderly folks.

We’ve constructed new Memory Care “stations” in the Lavender Hills section of each building. Memory Care stations are meant to bring comfort to Residents through the performance of familiar tasks. Earlier in their lives, dementia patients may have enjoyed gardening, caring for pets or raising children. So, English Meadows Team Members have stocked stations with baby dolls, stuffed animals that look and feel real, and an indoor herb garden for Residents to tend.

Lavender Hills Memory Care is just the latest effort by English Meadows Senior Living to accommodate and support Residents with a wide range of needs. If you’d like to learn more about whether English Meadows could be a good fit for your loved one, you can call us and schedule a visit anytime!

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