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Special Touches in Safe Harbor Memory Care

March 30, 2018

Memory care is an individualized health care specialty, requiring patience, awareness, and a focus on little touches and small moments.  Memory loss – which is a disease of the brain – affects each person differently, oftentimes making one day so different from the next.  We remember this with all we do at The Saybrook at Haddam’s Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood and we always look for special touches to benefit residents and families who turn to us for help and support through this difficult illness.

One particular frustration with memory care is the loss of clear (or even verbal) communications.  Depending on how far the disease has progressed, memory loss patients may have dramatic changes in the way he or she hears, processes, and responds to conversation. By creating a calm, steady, friendly and reassuring atmosphere, the Safe Harbor community helps resident express themselves through challenging moments, regardless of the hour or day.  For families struggling to help non-verbal loved ones “talk,” we thought a recent article on caring.com titled “6 Nonverbal Dementia Communication Techniques Make Caregiving Easier” explained this condition well and offered solid advice.

The memory care team at The Saybrook at Haddam employs many of these same techniques each day as part of our ever-growing skill set.  The most important thing we do, however, is to take time to learn the personalities and interests of each resident so we can create a therapeutic and engaging atmosphere that has meaning and appeal, and can respond appropriately when someone may have a bad moment or day.

Another frustration for memory care residents is not being able to do the things they used to do.  We learn which hobbies they once loved –such as cooking, painting, traveling, listening to music, or doing puzzles.  Then we adapt these types of activities so residents can once again (safely) make candy, paint ceramics, take short road trips (to places such as local farms, parks, libraries, shops, restaurants, and museums), or tackle other projects that require them to use fine motor skills, concentration, and creativity.  When residents participate in these social and hands-on activities, they have the chance to connect again with things they once enjoyed.

Residents also appreciate interacting with young children, which is why we initiated a wonderful relationship with a local preschool.  We visit with this energetic and loving group throughout the school year to work together on projects, sing songs, read books and just have fun.  On a recent visit, one resident asked a little girl if he could try on her red beret.  The girl happily obliged and giggled her way through story time watching her friend wear her little hat.  It was a wonderful moment.

And moments are what memory care is all about.  We know our small touches have meaning for residents at Safe Harbor and help preserve (or even improve) their quality of life.  It is a rewarding health care specialty and we are honored to be a part of it.

For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.

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Fashionably Fabulous in Retirement Years

March 16, 2018

Recently, The Saybrook at Haddam welcomed Bea Smith’s “traveling fashion store” to our retirement and assisted living community.  They set up “shop” in our lobby so residents and guests could check out, try on, and purchase some of the best sportswear fashion lines on the market. They also showcased a wonderful selection of coats, handbags and other accessories that complete or update any outfit.  It was a fun afternoon for residents and gave them an opportunity for very convenient shopping – right in the middle of a week of snowstorms!

From Alfred Dunner collection, available at Bea Smith’s.

This great event also served as a reminder that senior citizens still enjoy looking and feeling their best – and that they can easily be affordably fashionable and even trendy with just a little strategizing.

Fashion experts recommend everyone – including seniors – take stock of their wardrobe at least once a year.  This means going through closets and honestly assessing what you have, discarding what is worn out or outdated, and donating what you no longer wear (but is still in good shape). Then, look to replenish your wardrobe with stylish and affordable options.

In general, everyone should focus on quality and not quantity, making sure clothing is well made and then making sure it is well cared for. A few standard (and possibly more expensive) pieces can be easily updated with new or seasonal accessories, sweaters or shoes.  Sometimes these can be found at Marshalls, Target or other lower-priced shops that won’t break the bank.

The Budget Fashionista blog recommends women over 60 consider keeping some denim, bold prints and bright colors in their closet. These items are designed in so many different ways now that women can easily find the right fit and style that is flattering and appropriately youthful.  Keep a few “go to” pantsuits on hand (think Katharine Hepburn) along with skirts that fall just below the knee.

For senior men, the Love to Know blog recommends having several crew neck and v-neck sweaters, white and blue button-down shirts, pull-over vests, cardigans, and polo shirts to wear alone or under a jacket or blazer.  Pants should include straight-leg denim jeans, chinos, trousers and corduroys, depending on occasion and season.  Of course, belts should match shoes and shoes should match the color of the trousers.

A few don’ts for seniors:  Men should avoid baggy or distressed clothing, graphic tee-shirts, and baseball caps; women should avoid leggings, oversized scarves, and belts to hold up their pants.

Fashion is achievable for anyone at any age – and is important in putting our best selves forward. Whether the seniors in your life still enjoy heading out to the mall for some shopping or prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes, you can still encourage them to build and enjoy a fashionable wardrobe. We hope these tips help – and invite you to stop into The Saybrook at Haddam during any upcoming shopping events (check our Facebook page or our front office for details).

 

For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.

Request Information or Schedule a Tour

We’re happy to answer any questions you have and provide additional information about The Saybrook at Haddam.

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