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A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease does not mean the same journey for everyone. In fact, there are multiple stages of the disease, each with its own unique set of challenges and solutions. Though most people living with Alzheimer’s move through the different stages of the disease, each stage affects each person a bit differently.

Perhaps the most difficult stages of dementia are the early stages, when the senior knows they are forgetting and are struggling to maintain independence, keep up with their friendships, and be part of their care decisions. These early stages require more specialized care and support in order to keep the senior feeling comfortable, empowered, and healthy.

Mild Cognitive Impairment

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that as many as 20 percent of seniors 65 or older have mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. People living with MCI can begin to notice their forgetfulness, leaving them feeling frustrated, embarrassed, or overwhelmed. These feelings can lead to increased isolation from peers or family members, which only increases the progression of cognitive loss.

The Bridges Approach

At Arbor Terrace Morris Plains, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to best serve the seniors who call our community home. Over the years, we discovered that residents who were living through the early stages of dementia or with MCI were not always successful in our assisted living community. However, they were also not ready for the more intensive care and approaches offered in our specialized Evergreen memory care neighborhood.

Instead, these residents needed a unique program that gave them the independence of assisted living with extra support that encouraged socialization with peers and participation in cognition-based activities or programs. Our Bridges neighborhood is the ideal solution for our residents who are living with early stage memory loss.

More Support, Less Stress

The foundation of our Bridges neighborhood is the supports in place that eliminate as much stress as possible from the lives of our residents. Early cognitive decline can make daily tasks seem overwhelming, including things like keeping up with a social calendar or having a conversation with a friend in a busy environment.

Our specially trained caregivers take away the burden of tasks like housekeeping or laundry services, as well as coordinate comfortable social interactions with other residents. In addition, our dining room and other parts of the Bridges neighborhood were designed with MCI in mind. This means a less stimulating environment, which translates to more successful and peaceful days.

We’ve also taken special care to ensure the safety of our Bridges neighborhood residents. Our community features environmental safeguards as well as a staff trained for personalized interactions to optimize comfort and safety.

Building Physical and Cognitive Health

In our Bridges neighborhood, residents enjoy the Arbor Terrace lifestyle, which is full of opportunities to engage with activities and events. Residents can enjoy a live concert in the afternoon as well as a cooking class or happy hour before dinner in the evening.

However, there are other specially curated programs that are just for our Bridges residents. For example, reminiscing groups are tailored to increase memory recall as well as socialization, while our exercise groups focus on movements that cross the midline of the body to increase cognitive health.

We’ve thought of everything to make sure our Bridges neighborhood has an event calendar that supports the social, physical, and cognitive needs of the residents who call Arbor Terrace Morris Plains home.

Our Bridges neighborhood is one of a kind, and we are always eager to show it off. Call our community today to learn more about our specialized neighborhood; we can highlight how our services can increase the safety, health, and comfort of your loved one.Learn More About Arbor Terrace Morris Plains

Mary Beth Kane

About the Author: Mary Beth Kane

Mary Beth began her career as a therapeutic recreation specialist developing award winning activity-based programs for people living with dementia and their care partners. Since 2004, she has worked in assisted living communities where she strengthened ties within the professional community and helped families find the right senior living communities for their loved one. Mary Beth has been a care partner for both her parents and brings the joys and challenges of these years to her work on a daily basis.

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