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Memory Care: It’s More Than You Think

Let’s start at the beginning: What is memory care?

Memory care supports people with Alzheimer’s, as well as other dementias and cognitive conditions. Residents live as independently as possible, with the help of on-site staff who provide for daily needs. Here at Wichita Presbyterian Manor, memory care also provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment, by engaging mind, body and spirit.  

In this blog, you will hear from some of our staff, as well as family members of our residents. They explain what memory care is in their own words: 

Memory Care is Personal 

“We promote continued independence with compassion for our residents whose needs will continually change due to dementia and Alzheimer’s,” says Jessica Klatt, Assisted Living and Memory Care Nurse Supervisor at Wichita Presbyterian Manor.

“I think we are special in that we are person-centered to each resident’s unique traits. Not one memory care resident is like the other. We see them as our family and know that each person has different needs. We put our residents first in a secure environment that feels like home.”

Memory Care is Understanding

“Family education is key to making a successful transition into memory care,” adds Amy Watson, Life Enrichment Director at Wichita Presbyterian Manor. “Families need to know that we want their loved one to live as safely, as purposefully, and as normally as possible.

“Our goal is to provide our residents with happiness and the highest possible quality of life. We also offer a support group for family members who want to better understand memory care and dementia. We are actively working to take the stigma away.”

Memory Care is Compassionate

Lisa Miller, Memory Care Life Enrichment Coordinator, explains. “We are like a close-knit family. Our residents and our staff all look out for one another. We function hand in hand. The cook, the housekeeper, the nurses, all of us.

“The atmosphere at Wichita Presbyterian Manor is positive. I feel like I am a friend to all of the residents. They know that they can come to me if there is something they need. Sometimes that means getting a blanket, doing a puzzle, or watching a few minutes of TV together.”

Memory Care is Active

“Of course, we always have planned activities for cognitive and physical enrichment,” continues Miller. “That can include light exercise, music, games, Bible study, birdwatching in our aviary, or even gardening outdoors. We do the same things that residents might have done before they came to live with us.”

“Social life is very important here,” chimes in Watson, who leads Miller and six other life enrichment team members. “We take trips, go to chapel, use the wellness center, and more. What people did in their past roles plays a big role in what they like to do now. We just want everyone to be happy and feel connected.”

Memory Care is Beautiful

“I shopped very carefully when looking for a continuing care retirement community for my father and stepmother,” says Michael Elston. “Presbyterian Manor was highly ranked, highly respected, and highly recommended by people I knew in the area.

“When I came to tour, I was impressed by the professionalism and compassion of the staff. I could see that they really care, really pay attention to the residents. My father has since passed away, and my stepmother moved into memory care. She is social and active. It is perfect environment for her.

“I feel so happy and grateful to have found such a good community. It is beautiful – the place and the people.”

Memory Care is a Choice

“This is the third memory care community that I have moved my mother to,” Tonya Alexander says. “I was in shock at how much better it is here. It looks like a resort.

“Being here has been a complete turnaround for my mom. She likes the atmosphere, the activities, and the nursing staff. I would highly recommend Presbyterian Manor to anyone seeking care for their family member. I am at peace with where my mother is now. This is a good place.”

“As Tonya noted, all memory care communities are not the same,” explains Watson. “Families need to do their research and compare communities. They need to ask questions about the staff and staffing levels … and they definitely need to go for a tour. They need to feel the vibe and meet the people. Ask themselves if it feels comfortable as place where their loved one could live purposefully and thrive.”

Nurse Supervisor Klatt agrees, “We know the transition is never easy. That’s why it’s so important for families to come tour. So, they can see for themselves the wonderful atmosphere we offer. It shows families how our staff makes the most of every day for our residents.”

Each family’s needs are different. Learn more about memory care services, amenities and neighborhoods now. 

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