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Old 06-19-2015, 05:52 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,431 posts, read 41,523,573 times
Reputation: 46987

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This is definitely worth the time to watch. Sounds like an ideal situation but of course is only available in this socialistic country. It would be off the wall expensive in our country but having been through this disease with my own mother and others, I know they would have done better than what we now have available.
To those of us who have gone through this with our parents and fear our own futures, it would be comforting to know such care would be possible.

'Dementia Village' Helps Those Suffering From Illness | SF Globe
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Old 06-19-2015, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
8,435 posts, read 8,373,149 times
Reputation: 1690
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
This is definitely worth the time to watch. Sounds like an ideal situation but of course is only available in this socialistic country. It would be off the wall expensive in our country but having been through this disease with my own mother and others, I know they would have done better than what we now have available.
To those of us who have gone through this with our parents and fear our own futures, it would be comforting to know such care would be possible.

'Dementia Village' Helps Those Suffering From Illness | SF Globe
I saw this too and thought it's a great solution rather than our way of locking them up in nursing home jail. Of course it wouldn't be much of a money maker so it probably won't ever become an option in the US.
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,818 posts, read 32,537,157 times
Reputation: 56809
There are variations of this already, even in my relatively small city of about 200,000.

We just placed my mother in law in a memory care facility. We visited MANY facilities before placing her. One that was in "second place" reminds me a lot of the one in the video. Actually what it felt like to me was a fancy casino in Las Vegas, where everything is self contained (the one I'm thinking about is the Paris themed casino) - there were shops, including a coffee shop. There was a beauty shop, a nail salon, gardens, a gym, a music room, a game room, etc. Everyone there has Alzheimers or dementia.

There were three reasons why we didn't choose that facility, though it was impressive. The first reason is that my mother in law is a "plain living" woman - she was raised in the country and lived in a small town with a middle class life her whole life, and the surroundings in this particular facility would have seemed alien to her - it was like they were TOO opulent.

The second reason was that it was a very large complex, with nearly 200 residents. We felt that there was too much activity going on all the time - that being a quiet, introverted person she might be unsettled by so many new people and so much activity.

The final reason was because of price - $5700 a month.

We ended up choosing a much smaller facility with a less opulent feel to it, but we LOVE it and so far she's doing very well. There are only about 50 residents, divided into two "neighborhoods" so the residents only need to become familiar with 25 or so other residents, as well as the staff. The staff has a great ratio (seems like about 1 staff member to 3 residents) and without exception they seem to really love working with the residents - they are very loving and gentle and humorous. They have a very secure fence around the facility and extensive patios and gardens, and while we were there yesterday they were gathering vegetables that they'd grown with the staff. They have a Montessori program in place so there are "gently changing" activities ongoing all day long - the residents are free to participate or not, but most seen to enjoy participating. Lots of music, some physical therapy, etc.

Her room is furnished with items from home so she is surrounded with familiar things.

There is a television room but it's unusual to see more than three or four residents in there at any given time, except for movie times each night, when there may be 8 or 10 in there.

My MIL is down from 13 different medications to 4.

This facility is also expensive - about $4700 a month. That's the big downside to all of these programs. But here's what I can't figure out. I can't figure out why government run programs couldn't operate the same way. The activities themselves aren't expensive - it's cheap to grow vegetables and every nursing home I've been in has patios and outdoor spaces. Instead of having huge, cavernous (and loud) cafeterias, why not break these down into smaller dining rooms, with less commotion (lots of noise bothers people with dementia)? What's so difficult about having fingernail polish and hair styling items and some makeup handy and helping the residents pretty themselves up? Almost all the residents at my MIL's facility LOVE having their hair and nails done, and it doesn't have to even be a "professional job." Music and little musical activities aren't expensive or difficult to do - just last week at my MIL's facility they had a "twist contest" and played fifties music and had pink and black balloons everywhere. After that particular day, my MIL told us, "I need to get a walker and get out of this wheelchair" and today she's getting a walker!

They have Sunday and Wednesday night "church" complete with the old hymns that so many of them love - and they join in and sing. Even those who can't sing enjoy the music.

One of the things I like the most is that they have an open kitchen area and the residents are encouraged to help prepare meals - mixing things especially. Of course they can't cut up anything, but they love mixing and baking and stirring, and they are always so proud when they get to serve cupcakes they made earlier for snack later in the day. In fact, they made pink cupcakes for the fifties party! When you have smaller groups of residents, this is not too difficult to pull off.

The thing I love is that they have dignity and purpose. I have learned a lot while caring for my MIL with Alzheimers. One thing I have learned is the art of living in the present. Every minute of our "normal" lives, we are burdened by both the past and the future, and our present - which is where we ARE - is often overshadowed by memories and future goals or burdens. Living in the here and now is a delicacy with it's own subtle and unique flavor.
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