Making the decision to place a loved one in a memory care community may be the most difficult decision anyone ever has to make. Arden Courts Memory Care Community is a center focused specifically on memory care for those who suffer with Alzheimer’s or related dementias. The time may come when a family member may no longer safely manage their care alone or with a caregiver. Many times, families wait to look at placement options when behaviors such as wandering, aggression and delusions become more than they can handle. When this time comes, it’s important to have done premeditated research so you and your loved one have a plan of action.
To help you with that plan of action, this month we’re introducing you to Arden Courts, part of the continuum of care offered by the ManorCare family of companies. We sat down with Julie Beckert, Assistant Vice President, to learn more about Arden Courts and the special care they show to each and every resident.
Vital: Arden Courts has a long history of being at the forefront of dementia care. What is the underlying philosophy of your caregiving?
JB: You’re right, we have a long history of innovation in dementia care, dating back more than 25 years. In 1994, after five years of research into the design elements necessary for optimal success, HCR-ManorCare created a community exclusively for persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. At Arden Courts, residents can feel safe and secure, while still experiencing a sense of “home,” which enables them to stay oriented and as independent as possible.
Many families have concerns regarding safety and security for their loved ones. Arden Courts provides the perfect balance between freedom and security for individuals with dementia – giving our families the peace of mind they deserve. Our residents can enjoy taking a stroll on our 1/3 mile of outdoor walking paths, sitting in the gazebo or greeting family in one of multiple patios in our enclosed, landscaped courtyards.
Some aspects may seem unusual to individuals not versed in the care of those living with dementia, but we’ve designed even the smallest of details to be of the utmost benefit for your loved one.
Vital: Your building and grounds are absolutely beautiful. Tell us more about what goes on here. How do you design your care plans and programs?
JB: We recognize residents have their own individual routines and interests, capabilities and needs. We set out to accommodate their individuality beginning with an assessment by one of our professional staff members. We work very closely with each family to develop an individualized service plan, which is regularly adjusted to meet any changes in your loved one’s routine or condition.
Arden Courts’ programming concentrates on meeting residents’ unique needs, promoting their independence and individuality, and enhancing their health and well-being. We offer a wide array of programming to fulfill a variety of purposes that is appropriately timed to promote success and engagement. All programming is planned and supervised by trained professionals.
Even though Alzheimer’s and related dementias are considered progressive and debilitating diseases, Arden Courts aggressively strives to find moments of time that are meaningful and gratifying to our residents. Capturing these moments capitalizes on the philosophy that ability, capabilities and preferences equal success.
Vital: Caring for someone with cognitive loss is complex. Tell us a little about the caregivers here at Arden Courts.
JB: Our staff is part of our family! Everyone is trained and continually educated on caring for residents living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias, including communicating with those who are confused and assisting with activities of daily living. Creative program staff members ensure that a wide range of engaging activities are provided. Arden Courts’ tailored care focuses on maintaining the health and well-being of our residents, helping them to continue to be as independent as possible. Our medical team consists of health care professionals and specialists in our community who offer support and expertise in a variety of areas to provide the best comprehensive care plan possible. Longevity of staff at Arden Courts also contributes to continuity from day to day, with numerous staff approaching or exceeding a decade of service.
Vital: How much family involvement do you typically see?
JB: We encourage and welcome family involvement whenever possible. It’s important that relationships be maintained, so families are invited to visit any time and are included in themed activities, dinners, special celebrations and, of course, family nights. Support groups and educational seminars present an opportunity for anyone faced with caring for a loved one living with dementia to share their stories and begin relationships with others who share their experience.
Alzheimer’s and related types of dementia affect over 5.4 million people. Because of the difficulties of living with these diseases, they can also create a burden on caregivers. There are nearly 15 million caregivers caring for loved ones living with Alzheimer’s or related forms of dementia. The demands and stress on caregivers are intense and may cause serious health care issues for the caregiver.
Many caregivers wait until a crisis occurs before pursuing help. It’s vital that families understand their options early in the disease and work with their health care providers to facilitate placement before a crisis or major health issue occurs.
Research has shown that early detection of the disease allows for prompt intervention to preserve remaining abilities and slow the progression of the disease.
Vital: What other types of services do you offer?
JB: While most people investigating Arden Courts are seeking a permanent home for their loved ones, Arden Courts also provides short-term respite stays when caregivers need a break or in emergency situations. As a leader in dementia care, we also provide educational resources and programs for families and the community.
Vital: Do you have a final word of advice for families?
JB: The inability to recognize the obvious often occurs with Alzheimer’s or related dementias, particularly among the family members who care for them. When the time comes for you to decide that someone you love needs more help than you can give, will you be able to recognize it? Don’t wait for a crisis to make the decision for you, contact Arden Courts Memory Care. We know, we understand, and we can help.
Vital: How can readers get in touch with you?
JB: To learn more, call us at 302-762-7800 or visit www.arden-courts.com. In the Wilmington, DE area, two ManorCare skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities located on Foulk and Limestone Roads, Heartland Home Health and Hospice Services and Arden Courts are all part of the HCR ManorCare family.