June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month! Dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is not a part of normal aging, but is increasingly common among older adults. Linda Mammel, memory care program manager at Chelsea Retirement Community’s Towsley Village, says spreading awareness for dementia is crucial. “Dementia affects the whole person and the whole family. It is so important to learn to recognize the signs of early dementia. We try looking at the world from their perspective, by offering compassion and lots of patience.”
In her role at Towsley Village, Linda says, “I strive to ensure that our residents’ care is priority. I believe that dementia is a challenge that our residents and their families can meet with success. We train and educate our team members with the newest research, approaches, and techniques to be successful, but we also offer education and support to our families, especially regarding changes they may begin to see with their loved ones.”
Brio Living Services is committed to dementia training as a way to better the lives of the residents in our care. For example, at Chelsea Retirement Community (CRC), Linda says, “We begin by training all care partners with Positive Approach to Care® (PAC) techniques, which I also refer to as a ‘toolbox’, offering education and examples of different approaches that may be successful when helping with care and positive interactions. CRC offers monthly education programs through the Alzheimer’s Association. An onsite support group also meets monthly. We provide additional training to team members that work with or near memory care residents, such as housekeeping, dining, facility support, and therapy. Our residents deserve for us to care for them in the very best way we can.”
On Wednesday, June 21, CRC collaborated with the Alzheimer’s Association to celebrate the Longest Day, or summer solstice, with our Purple Day. The Alzheimer’s Association encourages partners to hold fundraisers on the summer solstice, with the slogan, “The Day With the Most Light is the Day We Fight.” We use the longest day of the year to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Team members at CRC who made donations wore purple in honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness and enjoyed root beer floats at Bill’s Café at Towsley Village.
There are a lot of misperceptions about dementia, and Linda encourages those living with dementia and their families to understand that “Dignity, grace, and joy are still possible for our residents and their families. Education, communication, and an integrated care plan are essential.” She adds, “CRC is not only here to provide care for our memory care residents, but we also offer support to the family, helping them cope with the changes that our residents face every day.”
Learn more about the memory care locations at Brio Living Services that empower our residents and their families to thrive.