November: Celebrate National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month
The statistics are staggering when considering what an impact Alzheimer's disease has on many American lives. Already nearly five million people in this country alone have been diagnosed with the disease, and the number is expected to triple by mid-century. Fortunately for many families, research, care and treatments are moving into new horizons. Today there is more information and support, providing better understanding of the disease and those it afflicts than ever before. In particular, an area that is dramatically changing is that of assisted living programs designed specifically for those with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
AegisLiving, a national leader in retirement, assisted living and memory care communities, is just one such example of a company that is changing the way those afflicted with the disease are cared for and supported.
"We are constantly seeking new and better ways to make life better for our residents who have Alzheimer's disease. We edge closer to this accomplishment everyday by being more creative, compassionate and flexible, giving us the ability to move beyond traditional care and find breakthrough treatments," said Dwayne Clark, Chairman and CEO of AegisLiving. "Everyone at Aegis has special training in dementia and age sensitivity, understanding it is best to live in the resident's moment. While there is no cure, significant strides have been made to better understand the disease and identify new programs and care options that make a real difference."
To deal with Alzheimer's, AegisLiving has developed innovative communities designed specifically for people with memory loss. In Life's Neighborhood, AegisLiving offers an innovative program that is nationally recognized for its ability to enhance the quality of life and increase enjoyment for residents dealing with memory loss issues. Often in Life's Neighborhood, a smaller more intimate setting represents a large family home of the 1940s to encourage socializing and is a setting they feel comfortable in. Special "Life Skills" stations and Snoezelen techniques are used to help combat the affects of this the disease.
AegisLiving incorporates the Snoezelen (pronounced "snoozlin") philosophy of care into its memory care communities. Snoezelen techniques encourage stimulation as a method of relaxation and redirection allowing for communities to reduce the use of medication to soothe residents. In a Life's Haven room or mobile cart, light, shapes, textures, aromas, music and colors are used to gently stimulate the senses, calming residents into a place they feel secure.
Safety and security are extremely important. At AegisLiving, apartments are designed with systems that ensure residents safety. Communities are designed so residents can enjoy the outdoors and the community but not wander outside of a secure area.
Caring for a family member with Alzheimer's can be extremely difficult. The increased responsibility and emotional burden can easily cause stress and anxiety. This is why AegisLiving takes a neighborhood approach. The tasks of caring for a loved one are shared by a number of dedicated individuals trained in caring for Alzheimer's and dementia. With the knowledge that a loved one is well cared for, a caregiver can enjoy more fulfilling time together and less stress.