Transforming Dementia Care

Jul 2, 2024 | Alzheimer's & Dementia

Dementia care can be a challenging journey for both caregivers and family members alike – that’s a massive understatement.

But there’s a new approach on the horizon that is making a significant difference: Life Activity Centers. These centers provide meaningful activities that tap into residents’ past experiences and skills. They’re not necessarily about keeping residents busy – but about nurturing their passions and giving them a sense of purpose.

Most importantly, they’re revolutionizing the world of dementia care.

What Are Life Activity Centers?

Life Activity Centers recreate environments that resonate with the early life experiences of individuals with dementia. They’re highly personalized and individualized, catering to the specific needs and backgrounds of each resident.

The science behind them is sound. According to Craig Rukande, the Director of Memory Care and Engagement for Priority Life Care, LLC, it’s common for people with dementia to revert to habits and roles from their past.

Memory’s not a function of just one process in the brain, but rather, a collection of different systems. People with dementia (or Alzheimer’s, for that matter), may struggle with short-term memory but remote, long-term memory is often left completely intact.

Providing personalized spaces that allow seniors to fully (and safely) experience their beloved roles from the past is both healthy and beneficial.These familiar activities can help to reduce agitation and improve overall well-being.

What does this look like? For someone who was once a parent or teacher, it might look like a nursery. For a retired carpenter, it might be a workshop.

Ultimately, these spaces can dramatically improve the quality of life for those with dementia. Familiarity is important, especially when it’s part of a daily routine, because it can help reduce stress and anxiety.

These activities are also beneficial because dementia eventually impairs someone’s ability to plan and initiate an activity – by going through the motions of an activity they’re already familiar with, people with dementia can retain some of their sense of control.

The Role of Staff Training

Creating an engaging environment goes beyond setting up these activity centers, requiring well-trained staff who understand deeply the unique needs of each resident.

Staff members should be trained to involve residents in daily tasks, like helping in the kitchen or taking care of baby dolls in a nursery, to empower them and build a sense of community.

Craig Rukande shares a touching story about a resident who had been a carpenter. At the Life Activity Center, he found joy in making bird feeders at a workbench. Another resident, who was a natural caregiver, spent hours happily holding a baby doll.

These activities are not just about keeping residents busy – they provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

How The Brentwood at Niles Can Shape the Future of Life Activity Centers

As we continue to understand the profound impact of these centers, they will become a cornerstone of dementia care, offering personalized, meaningful engagement for every resident.

At The Brentwood at Niles, we are committed to providing exceptional dementia care. Our Life Activity Centers are tailored to meet the unique needs of our residents so they receive the best possible care.

You’re not just selecting a care facility – you’re choosing a community that values and empowers its residents. Reach out to us today to learn more about our Life Activity Centers and how they can make a difference in your loved one’s life.

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Testimonials

I have visited Brentwood many times. Every time that I am there I am amazed ...
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Steve
I have visited Brentwood many times. Every time that I am there I am amazed at the level of care that I see the residents receive from all the staff. I see the staff talking to the residents and calling them by name and taking the time to chat with them. This might seem like a minor thing but I can tell you, it doesn't happen at a lot of other places. They always have activities planed and there is always a happy group of people participating. Great job Jennifer Kedik and the entire staff.
Steve
Steve
I went in with a family member for a tour, to look for an apartment ...
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Julianna
I went in with a family member for a tour, to look for an apartment for another family member. I could not believe how nice and kind the staff were to eachother, and kind when overheard talking to the residents. The rooms were clean , and the building was well kept, We will definitely be back to Brentwood at Niles!
Julianna
Julianna
I just left from visiting my Mother who is a resident in Brentwood's Memory Care @...
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Tammy
I just left from visiting my Mother who is a resident in Brentwood's Memory Care @Niles . I have to say ,I was happy overall before, but since Brentwood has been under new owners, I can tell that it's even better. My siblings and I agree . Everything is clean, the staff are very helpful and so sweet to my Mom and just feels more organized and the staff look happy. I have been a nurse for 32 years so my expectations are high and I feel that my Mom is receiving the best care she deserves. I know no place is perfect but feel reassured and confident @this point .
Tammy
Tammy
We are so impressed with the fabulous care my dad is getting at Brentwood in ...
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Nancy
We are so impressed with the fabulous care my dad is getting at Brentwood in Niles. The staff are all saints! They are so helpful and sweet! My dad moved in last weekend, Sept. 3, and is very happy and comfortable in his new facility. We could not have asked for a better place. I'm 2 1/2 hours away and my brothers are both 1 1/2 hour away. We feel so much at ease knowing that he is in excellent care. Keep up the fantastic work staff! Give each other a HUGE pat on the back and say "a job well done!"
Nancy
Nancy
My husband and I toured this very nice facility yesterday with Jennifer Kedik, who couldn't ...
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Kimberly
My husband and I toured this very nice facility yesterday with Jennifer Kedik, who couldn't have been more accommodating and helpful. We are looking for a place for my mom. If it comes to the point where her live-in caregiver can no longer stay with her, I would love to have Mom go to Brentwood. It's clean and light, the food looked delicious and all of the staff was friendly. Residents seemed happy and well cared for. We were impressed!
Kimberly
Kimberly
Brentwood is FAMILY!!! From the staff, to the residents to the family members. I cannot ...
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Debbie
Brentwood is FAMILY!!! From the staff, to the residents to the family members. I cannot express the appreciation of this WONDERFUL organization in helping our Seniors remain safe and happy. Thank you Brentwood!
Debbie
Debbie

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