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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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Thoughts from our Safe Harbor Memory Care Neighborhood

October 30, 2017

Living with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other memory-related illness means new and different struggles occur each day.  There is no standardized solution for treating or managing memory care, since these diseases affect each person so differently.  So, when The Saybrook at Haddam set out to create Safe Harbor, a unique and therapeutic memory care neighborhood, we knew customized, individualized care would be at the heart of all we do. Continue reading “Thoughts from our Safe Harbor Memory Care Neighborhood”

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Simple Ways to Create Moments of Joy for People Suffering from Dementia or Memory-related Illnesses

March 29, 2016

Dementia and other memory-related illnesses can take years away from a person’s memory, leaving them in a “new” world that is unknown to the rest of us. Caregivers often struggle with how to function in this reality, and sometimes unknowingly add to the anxiety that those in their care may be facing.  Continue reading “Simple Ways to Create Moments of Joy for People Suffering from Dementia or Memory-related Illnesses”

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Safe Harbor Dedicated to Helen Shultz

June 2, 2015

Helen Shultz Plaque smallThe Saybrook at Haddam has dedicated its Safe Harbor neighborhood to its very first memory care resident, Helen Shultz of Old Saybrook, who lived at the specialized community throughout its inaugural year. Members of the Shultz family joined the retirement community at a brief ceremony on May 6 to unveil a personalized plaque placed in Safe Harbor in honor of Helen’s memory.

Continue reading “Safe Harbor Dedicated to Helen Shultz”

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