Application of Engagement-Centered Memory Care Philosophy a First in California
ALAMEDA, Calif.– A pioneering engagement-focused memory care philosophy for people living with dementia is transforming and enriching lives in several California senior living communities, as Elder Care Alliance (ECA) recently announced its partnership with the Hearthstone Institute to implement the I’m Still Here™ (ISH) approach in all its communities: San Francisco, Oakland, San Rafael, and Camarillo – the first (and only at this time) communities to have it available on the West Coast.
More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, with many living with it for more than a decade. The shared stance of these organizations is that every person living with dementia still has a great capacity to learn and experience a high quality of life regardless of the severity of their memory loss.
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OAKLAND, Calif. – Piedmont Gardens recently named Charlene Wolf program manager for the senior living community’s memory support residences, The Grove. Wolf brings more than 30 years of experience working with older adults, and has had a lifelong passion for serving those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Her personal background and experience will build upon the success of a variety of memory support programs offered to residents at The Grove.
“Charlene is an asset to the team and a true example of someone who understands our philosophy at The Grove,” said Kevin Smith, executive director at Piedmont Gardens. “While she’s leading the team, there are a number of unique programs and services she’ll help oversee, including The Best Friends Approach.”
The Best Friends™ Approach focuses on building relationships with residents based on individual life stories and experiences, and provides a therapeutic environment, creative activities, and well-trained professionals who help residents feel safe, secure and valued. All team members working at The Grove will be a ‘best friend’ with residents.
They’re responsible for learning about the residents’ lives from their families, and interacting with them to increase positivity, prevent isolation and continue socialization. The Grove also offers a variety of programs and activities that benefit residents living with memory loss, including art and music therapy, improvisation classes and drum circles.
“Caregivers at The Grove are trained to encourage and facilitate a number of physical, spiritual, intellectual and social activities, based on the needs and capabilities of each resident,” said Smith. “Our culture at Piedmont Gardens is focused on personalized care, and we’re proud to be able to offer these kinds of programs and services for older adults and their families in the Oakland area.”