Caring For A Loved One With Dementia. Care in The Home, Promises Unable to Keep, and Communal Living.
What is the right way to care for people living with Dementia? This is a heavy topic. There is no single answer because each person’s experience with dementia is different. Symptoms of Dementia vary from person to person and from stage to stage. Some people come to us in preparation for the future a year or two down the road and are managing well at home. Others are in complete despair, having tried everything to keep their loved one home and feeling like a failure because they can’t make it work. I hear phrases like, “I promised I would never put them in a home” or “They would never have wanted to live like this” or “ They will never forgive me.” Sometimes the caregiver themselves are sick. I’d like to talk about these people; those trying their absolute best to keep a promise or give their loved one the life they envisioned for themselves.
First, understand that when people ask others to make promises, they are presuming they are asking for a reasonable promise. Think about it… let’s say you and your spouse have started a running program and you make a promise to run a half marathon within a year’s time. At the time you make that promise, it seems reasonable. What if your spouse breaks a leg? Are you going to expect them to run the marathon? Are you going to tell your spouse they failed you because they couldn’t make it work despite their broken leg? Of course not. The fact is that dementia is brain failure. The brain, which controls all things, is not able to function at its best and it will continue to lose more and more function as time goes on. Caregivers are caring for their loved one because they love them. There is a bond between you that extends beyond false promises. The core of a promise to “never let me live like this”, “don’t let me be a burden”, “never put me in a home” is mostly a plea to uphold a dignified quality of life. What good is living in one’s own home if the people living in it are exhausted and miserable and the person with dementia is doing poorly because they don’t have enough support? Are you giving your loved one your best self? Are you truly upholding your promise? Is your promise to keep them home reasonable at this time in their life given their current needs? For some, living at home with resources is manageable until the very end. For some, they need more support, but they are staying home for the sake of staying home. For some they bring in every resource imaginable; rehab therapists, personal trainers, activity specialists, home health and companion services, friends and family. They may have a robust outing schedule with the support of adult day programming and companion services. Despite these extensive resources, the person living with dementia continues to decline and displays negative symptoms.
What does communal life in a dedicated memory care community offer? Safety, care, engagement, predictability.
- Fully secure community with delayed egress
- State of the art technology motion sensors
- Highly skilled and loving professionals who partner with the residents rather than control them in times of challenging behavioral symptoms
- Engagement stations to invite the resident to meaningful rummaging and wandering
- Daily structured walks and an environment that provides opportunities for free walking both indoors and outdoors
- Stimulating social and small group activities to engage your loved one and minimize wandering
- High caregiver to resident staffing ratios, currently running at 1:5 on Connections and 1:3 on Haven, and doing so consistently. We have a full team ready to step in if one of our team members needs a day off. Leave the caregiving to us and let us help you get back to being the family member.
- Kensington Senior Living has lower fall rates than industry standard and Kensington Place has the lowest fall rates in all of Kensington Senior Living
- 24-hour concierge
- Licensed Nurses in our community 24 hours a day
- Administering medications, assessing clinical needs of our residents, coordinating care and communicating with family and physicians
- Diabetes management including sliding scale insulin
- Wound management
- Catheter care (by exception)
- Hospice Care
- Rehabilitative service coordination and services onsite
- Specialty physician services onsite
- Dental services onsite
- Exceptional quality indicators GET CURRENT PERCENTAGES
- Lowest fall rates industry wide and KSL wide
- Low rate of ER visits
- Low rate of hospitalizations
- Low rate of infections
- Zero rate of hospital readmissions within 30 days
- Highly skilled and compassionate care team trained in:
- Incontinence care and management
- Safe lifting techniques including two-person assist and mechanical lifts
- Skin integrity support through wound prevention, healing and management
- All levels of support and assist for activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, hygiene)
- Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care techniques for residents living with Dementia
- Exceptional food quality and menu diversity with daily specials, prepared from scratch, fresh daily with the freshest produce and top quality meats, fish and poultry
- Exceptional service delivering a top restaurant experience
- Special diets including diabetic friendly, gluten free, vegetarian, low salt
- Modified diets including finger foods, mechanical soft, chopped, chopped moist, puree, thickened fluids
- Families welcome to dine for free
- Larger parties and catering welcome in coordination with our Executive Chef for a minimal charge
- Outdoor seating
- Snacks and sandwiches available 24 hours per day
- Robust, preference driven programming for our residents including exercise, dance, music, art, gardening, crafts, games, cognitive stimulation, learning, cooking, baking, movies, daily walks, parties, gentle massage, spa days, inter-generational engagement, daily happy hour and outings.
- Exciting outings to unique destinations including museums, historic landmarks, ocean side restaurants, and more.
- Pet friendly community offering furry friends to help our residents feel at home and bring joy.
- Our Kensington hallmark of “Pocket programming” to connect our residents to compatible peers in smaller groups to engage in activities they enjoy together.
- Designated caregivers assigned to your loved one personally and assigned to each neighborhood. Familiar faces to depend on.
- Leadership model with directors, managers and front line covering 7 days a week on a Sunday through Thursday or Tuesday through Saturday schedule.
Joanne Hubbard, Executive Director