What options are there for dementia or Alzheimer's treatment in Cincinnati? There are many, for residents of Episcopal Retirement Services' Marjorie P. Lee (MPL) and Deupree House (DH) retirement communities.
The memory care staff at both senior living centers employ a variety of innovative learning- and activity-based therapies for residents with dementia.
From SAIDO Learning, music and art therapy, and iN2L computer-based memory therapy, to our newest 360 Wellbeing program, there's no shortage of memory care options for Tristate seniors and their loved ones.
How does 360 Wellbeing work?
Doctors have long known that people who remain more physically active as they age are less likely to develop Alzheimer's and other dementias. There really is, it seems, a mind-body connection.
360 Wellbeing acts on that connection.
It's "a unique and extensive therapy program to fully engage residents and stimulate their minds,” said Stephanie Antoun, MPL's Health Services Administrator. “360 Wellbeing gets to the heart of our multi-faceted approach. When your body is moving and active, that helps to engage the mind.”
The program employs chair aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi, and other low-impact, easy-to-scale, group exercise programs, that can easily be modified to meet changing abilities on a given day, to get seniors moving and, hopefully, slow the progression of their disease.
“This program works to improve both physical and mental wellbeing, including range of motion, strength, pain reduction, stress relief, and lessening of depression,” said Jim Fisk III, Director of Wellness for DH and MPL.
It also addresses more than strength — it embraces relaxation.
Bringing disordered minds to order.
Tai Chi and yoga aren't just physically beneficial; they're cognitively beneficial. Both employ meditative techniques, even as they challenge the muscles.
Meditation is highly effective for improving concentration and mood in healthy minds. As it turns out, meditation also works for people with dementia. It relaxes seniors who have the disease. It helps them to feel mentally fresher and more energetic.
For some, it also helps to reduce the perception of chronic pain.
And 360 Wellbeing addresses pain management in other ways, too: guided relaxation and massage therapy are part of the program.
Restoring dementia patients' confidence in themselves.
Alzheimer's and other dementias affect the spirit just as much as they do the mind. Most seniors with dementia struggle with doubt and fear. Some develop depression.
"One of the struggles facing residents with physical and cognitive impairment is faltering confidence," Fisk explained. "Typically, their mind is very quick to discount their overall abilities. The nature of 360 Wellbeing is that our class is basic enough to meet the residents where they are for that day."
Another way that 360 Wellbeing helps to improve seniors' mood is to rely on group exercise sessions, which promote socialization and bonding. When residents realize they are not alone, can contribute and are valued regardless of their changing abilities, their personal outlooks become more positive, and their demeanors often improve — dramatically.
“One particular resident was worried about staff forgetting about her for meals or activities, despite the team’s best efforts to reassure her,” Fisk recounted. Now, "when I come to invite her to exercise, she is always happy to have a group activity and to join in with others."
"It is meaningful that she is at ease and confident that she is doing what she should be doing in a safe place with others," he explained.
Could residential memory care and 360 Wellbeing help your older loved one?
It's quite possible. And we'd love an opportunity to show you the difference that person-centered, dignified memory support, at ERS communities like Deupree House and Marjorie P. Lee, makes for Cincinnati seniors and their families.
Come take a tour of one of our premier retirement communities. Click here to schedule yours or to request more information today.