Could your aging loved one benefit from person-centered memory support in a household setting? If so, you likely have plenty of questions about placement, quality of care, and more.
We recently sat down with Marjorie P. Lee’s Memory Support Household Coordinator, Brittany Kauffman, to answer some of your frequently asked questions as well as learn about her role at our continuing-care retirement community.
Q: Will you describe your current role at Marjorie P. Lee?
Brittany: My role varies from day to day, but as the Memory Support Household Coordinator, I make sure that all three households are running smoothly. I’m the point of contact for resident families and staff.
Q: What was your experience before starting at Episcopal Retirement Services?
Brittany: This is my second opportunity to serve our residents at Marjorie P. Lee. Previously, I had worked in admissions for the short-term rehab unit before leaving to stay home with my youngest two children. During the two years I was gone, I was a stay-at-home mom and ran my own home decor business. When I was ready to come back to work, I reached out to Marjorie P. Lee and was lucky enough to find this position open.
Q: What first inspired you to pursue a career in eldercare?
Brittany: Honestly, I never really knew that I wanted to be in elder care. I worked at Christ Hospital in their finance department, and I knew I just needed something different. A friend at the time worked at Marjorie P. Lee and suggested I look at the open positions. It’s been everything that I didn’t know I needed, plus more!
Q: What are the most common signs that it’s time for a family to consider memory care for an aging loved one?
Brittany: This is the hardest question to answer, and it’s a really family decision based on needs. Some families have the time and resources to commit to caring for their loved ones at home. Realistically, most do not and that’s where we’re able to help.
One thing that I like people to understand is that they should not feel guilt over seeking help. We are able to care for them so that the family can go back to just enjoying the fun and exciting moments with their loved ones again. Caregiver burnout is real, and that’s what we want people to avoid.
Q: Marjorie P. Lee is known for creating a home-like atmosphere for its residents. How is this atmosphere accomplished?
Brittany: Marjorie P. Lee does a wonderful job at creating a very inviting atmosphere. We have multiple living spaces within the memory support household that the residents can enjoy. The residents are welcome to utilize all the areas just as they would their own home. One quote that stuck with me when I first started here was, “they don’t live in our place of work; we work in their home.” This is really a philosophy that all the staff live by here.
Q: In your experience, what are the benefits of living in a household setting? How does it improve residents’ quality of life?
Brittany: A Household setting makes a world of difference, mainly because we really become a community. The staff is consistent and becomes like family for the residents. People living with dementia thrive on consistency, and I think we’re able to achieve that within the household-style setting.
Q: How does Marjorie P. Lee determine which household is the right fit for new residents?
Brittany: All of our memory support households are the same. We have residents with different stages of dementia in each one, so you don’t have to worry that you have chosen the wrong one. It’s really just about preference and apartment layout.
Q: Have you found any silver linings to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Brittany: One thing that I have found as a blessing during the pandemic is that our staff and residents have connected in unique ways. We have truly become family to each other.
Q: What do you like most about your role at Marjorie P. Lee?
Brittany: I’m so thankful that I get to serve these amazing elders and their families. My role looks different each and every day, which makes each day new and exciting. I’m truly blessed.
Do you have more questions about Marjorie P. Lee’s memory support households? Fill out our information request form, and we will reach out to discuss your or your loved one’s eldercare options. We look forward to hearing from you!