Finding Contentment in the Moment
Just as our Therapy Department is of potential use to all residents at Cross Keys Village, we have incorporated valuable elements of Memory Support to all our programs and services in varying degrees. This allows Cross Keys Village to offer more options – and more flexible solutions – to families who are facing the heartbreak of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
We are better equipped to care for individuals who exhibit memory loss along with another need (recovery from a joint replacement for instance), thanks to our comprehensive dementia care training. We also have extensive experience caring for couples when one spouse’s cognitive abilities start failing. Our goal is to use our knowledge of memory care in a practical and sensible approach, in order to help individuals live full, rich lives despite their diagnosis of memory loss. No one comes fully prepared for the specific challenges of caring for a person with dementia. Therefore, we offer caregivers a vast array of coping resources. In the video below, our Memory Care Coach shares communication tips to help us deal better with some effects of the disease that can lead to impatience or frustration.
Communication tools for caregivers
Few diseases affect family dynamics like neurocognitive disorders. The stress on caregivers can reach a breaking point. Other family members can feel helpless, excluded and unsure of how to give assistance. For this reason, Cross Keys Village organizes several support groups meant to encourage and inspire caregivers and family members as well as early-stage patients. These support groups are part of our wraparound dementia education, and they provide a compassionate environment for family members to connect, learn and share. Our Director of Memory Support, Jennifer Holcomb, is a precious resource within and outside our walls.
Residential Living Villagers who are experiencing early signs of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia are encouraged to remain in their cottage or apartment as long as it is safe to do so. When the memory function of one of the spouses is impaired, a married couple can remain together in their cottage or their apartment much longer than if they had remained isolated in their house on “Main Street.” Our Adult Day Services are also a resource to Villagers in such a situation, either on a regular basis or now and then as needed. If your spouse has received a diagnosis of dementia, you may wish to consider a move to Residential Living soon, to help him or her adapt more easily to new surroundings. We will educate you and help you make the transition efficiently and smoothly.
The Personal Care program features neighborhoods designed around the special needs of residents with memory loss, including some secure neighborhoods with locked doors for residents with poor safety awareness. Daily activities are designed to be satisfying and meaningful without being overstimulating. Our team members are specially trained and we offer education for families to help them find significance and happiness within the grief of having a loved one with cognitive impairment. We have found that removing risk and confusion has a beneficial effect on the capacity of affected residents to enjoy life in the moment.
2017 saw the opening of a new Personal Care building specialized in memory care, Brookside. This innovative environment will be the setting for a unique program. Please visit the Brookside dedicated page for up-to-date information about this significant new project at Cross Keys Village.
Our Health Care Center also features two long-term neighborhoods specialized in dementia care, with one (Somerset) being a secure environment. Somerset and Honey Brook residents are cared for by regularly scheduled team members who provide individualized, person-centered attention. Weather allowing, opportunities exist for spending time outside within the secure perimeter, and both memory support neighborhoods are staffed at a higher level than the other neighborhoods. Specially designed daily activities are scheduled to coincide with our residents’ needs, especially during the evening hours when sundowning can manifest itself as distress. Family education and participation are important elements of the program.
Cross Keys Village has developed into a regional expert in all aspects of caring for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and as an information resource for families and caregivers in the historic region of southcentral Pennsylvania close to Gettysburg, York, New Oxford and Hanover.