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What is Person-Centered Memory Care?

Your loved one may have memory loss, but she still has a desire to have a say in her own life. She wants to participate in activities she enjoys, socialize, pursue her interests, and experience new things. And health permitting, she wants to be involved in her own care.

You have undoubtedly come across the term “person-centered care” while researching treatment options for memory loss. But what is person-centered care, exactly?
Simply put, it means putting an individual’s comfort, dignity, and safety first. The focus is on not just the patient’s physical condition, but his or her psychological and spiritual well-being as well.

This holistic, humanistic approach is a steep departure from the traditional institutional model for treating people with dementia, and an effective one. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association’s guidelines for dementia care practices, supported by more than 30 major health and senior care organizations, are founded on the principles of person-centered care. It’s also the kind of care we provide at the Memory Care Suite at the Lester Senior Housing Community.

Person-Centered Care at the Memory Care Center

The caregivers at Lester Senior Housing Community embrace this integrated style of care and are fully committed to the philosophy that each patient has his or her own unique needs, interests, history, lifestyle, personality, and abilities. Instead of concentrating only on a resident’s limitations, caregivers take their cues from the things that the person can do and wants to do. Quality of life and respect are paramount as activities and daily interactions center around enhancing the resident’s life as a creative and intellectual being, and providing for the individual’s social, spiritual and physical wellness.

Nursing professionals and caregivers at our Memory Care Suite undergo extensive training in best practices for person-centered care through Comfort Matters®, an accredited education and research program dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people with dementia. The Comfort Matters® philosophy highlights compassionate care and enriching experiences that enhance the individual’s dignity, happiness, security, and comfort at all times. It also fosters family and social connections, further bolstering the overall health and well-being of our residents.

How You Can Participate in Person-Centered Care for a Loved One

Developing a personalized treatment plan takes teamwork. Your loved one’s doctors, nurses, and staff will partner with the people who who know and understand her best, usually her family members. Above all, the patient herself should be involved in the process to the extent that it’s possible.

Our team recommends you keep these key concepts in mind when caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s or other another form of dementia:

  • Pursue comfort at all times. Make the person comfortable and teach other caregivers how to do this as well.
  • Know the person’s physical, psychological, social, and spiritual history. Incorporate this information into his or her care.
  • Anticipate the person’s needs.
  • Let the person make decisions and be in control whenever possible. Be an advocate; be his or her voice. Resolve distress quickly and ensure that comfort needs are met.

The Memory Care Suite at the Lester Senior Housing Community is a calm, comforting, supportive place where your loved one can find peace of mind, body, and soul. It’s a place where, through a person-centered, person-first approach, the goal of every day is to make it a good day. To learn more about memory care at Lester, contact David Rozen at (973) 929-2725 or davidr@jchcorp.org.