Seniors are living for longer than they did a generation ago. But with that longer lifespan comes an increased risk of dementia. According to the Alzheimer's Association, 1 in 3 seniors will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia during their lifetime.
Many senior living communities now have dementia care neighborhoods for residents whose dementia has progressed to the point that they need round-the-clock supervision to stay safe as well as help with the activities of daily life, including bathing, dressing, and eating.
But because every person is unique, every dementia diagnosis is different. Though some people start to lose cognitive function soon after their diagnosis, others may continue for years with relatively mild symptoms of the disease. And most seniors with dementia are somewhere in between. They need help with some things but for the most part can take care of themselves.
That’s why Arbor Terrace of Johns Creek has developed its Bridges neighborhood for residents who need more care than assisted living provides but have not progressed to the point that they need to transition to dementia care. The Bridges neighborhood is designed for residents with mild cognitive impairment in order to provide them with activities that are appropriate for their mental abilities while giving them the support they need.
Individual Care Plan
Each resident of the Bridges neighborhood has a care plan designed just for them. The plan, developed with input from the resident, their family, and their doctor, outlines the best way to support the resident’s physical and mental health.
Bridges residents are encouraged to take part in regular exercise. The program is designed to help them improve mobility and strengthen their bodies, aiming to prevent falls that might lead to serious injuries.
One of the main jobs of staff members in the Bridges neighborhood is making sure residents stay connected with each other. Social connections are very important for seniors, especially for those with dementia. Studies, like this one on file with the National Institutes of Health, have shown that maintaining healthy social connections can help slow cognitive decline. Residents of the Bridges neighborhood take part in regular reminiscence groups designed to help stimulate conversation.
The Bridges neighborhood also has a full calendar of activities specially designed for its residents, including games, arts and crafts, and music programs.
Dining with DignityⓇ
Seniors with dementia can sometimes have trouble with the social cues of dining or the mechanics of eating. Embarrassed by this, they might start skipping meals, leading to social withdrawal and poor nutrition.
Arbor Terrace’s Dining with DignityⓇ program is designed to help residents with dementia feel comfortable eating with others. Meals are specially prepared so that residents in various stages of mental decline can continue to eat independently. And staff members are on hand to help residents who need help with social cues.
Arbor Terrace operates on the philosophy that no one should be defined by memory loss. The Bridges neighborhood helps residents retain their identities and live meaningful lives for as long as they can. When their dementia has progressed to the point that they need the safety of locked doors and constant care, residents transition to the community’s secure Evergreen memory care neighborhood.
If you’d like to find out more about the Bridges neighborhood, or anything else that Arbor Terrace of Johns Creek has to offer, call them at 770-999-9577.