When your loved one is dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia, there may come a time when it’s necessary to consider memory care. Independent living and residential care facilities often provide the best care for seniors at this stage of life, because they can offer a safe, secure place to live, memory therapies, and 24-hour care in a loving environment.
Kim Reiter, Director of the Memory Care Unit at Good Shepherd, has been helping residents with memory care needs for over 15 years, and she’s been on staff at Good Shepherd for 45 years.
“We’re able to care for residents in unique ways,” Kim says. “Our approach to care is world class. We offer a safe environment for residents to be mobile, and we have a ton of activities going on.”
For the past eight years, the Memory Care Unit has used the Teepa Snow approach to care. Snow is a world-renowned occupational therapist who has pioneered a revolutionary approach to care for residents.
“We’re proud of the fact that we’re trained in her methods,” Kim says. “The methodology doesn’t make the residents feel threatened, which often leads to residents becoming agitated or upset.”
The unit is structured in such a way as to ensure optimal safety, even as residents move throughout the area.
“We want to give residents as much independence and mobility as we can, while keeping them safe,” Kim reports. “A lot of thought has gone into the building itself so that our residents can wander around.”
Good Shepherd has also invested in outdoor spaces so that residents can appreciate and participate in nature.
“There’s an outdoor patio with chairs and tables, along with a garden where residents can pick vegetables to eat,” Kim says. “We also have a pond with a cascading waterfall and ducks.”
Inside, residents can choose from a variety of activities in which to participate.
“We’ve got a little bit of everything,” Kim reports. “Residents can use our sensory room. We have music activities and tactile activities.”
One of the services in which Reiter has seen astonishing results for residents is the Saido Learning that’s available.
“It’s mental exercises for the brain,” Kim says. “We were the eighth facility in the country to offer it, and we’ve been doing it with our residents for about eight years now. It improves their quality of life. We’ve seen a resident play piano again, recognize family members, and gain points back on our scoring system. It’s truly amazing!”
But perhaps the most important factor that Reiter is proud of is the Memory Care Unit’s secret sauce.
“Our staff truly love the residents,” Kim says. “They treat each resident like family.”