People joke about senior moments, which are characterized by forgetfulness that was not a characteristic of the person in younger years. While some memory loss with aging may be normal, the reality is that memory impairment that impairs normal lifestyle functioning is not a normal part of the aging process but may be indicative of a serious age-related health condition such as Alzheimer’s Disease or another type of dementia. These diseases go beyond normal forgetfulness and, as they progress, can create the type of cognitive impairment that makes it impossible for seniors to live safely in independent environments, and may even make it impossible for them to live with relatives as needs escalate. However, as devastating as these diseases may be, they do not have to signal an end to quality-of-life for the seniors who experience them.
At Chelsea Senior Living, which has various New Jersey locations, we offer dedicated memory impairment facilities that we call The Country Cottage. Located with our other facilities, The Country Cottage is a memory-care concept that is designed to provide the elevated level of care, supervision, and containment that is required in memory care facilities, while simultaneously focusing on enhancing resident life. The Country Cottage is designed to replicate a home environment, avoiding the institutional feel of many memory care facilities. Residents can live in private or shared apartments, depending on their preferences. In addition, private living spaces can be decorated with personal items and photographs to provide comfort for those experiencing memory loss.
While the level of care is personalized for each resident, all of the memory care residents are evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team to determine their needs and exposed to programming that is designed to enhance cognitive ability and slow the progression of dementia. Even for those residents with advanced dementia, programming is designed to help them engage with other residents, staff, and visitors in a meaningful manner that contributes positively to quality-of-life.