At The Palace Group’s newest senior living community, The Palace Gardens located in Homestead, the designated memory support wing of the 200-unit community is utilizing many of newest therapeutic programs found in dementia care.
The Palace Group’s founder and president, Helen Shaham, and her team traveled the U.S. touring memory support communities to learn firsthand what successful best practices were being used and how residents were responding.
With more than 35 years’ experience operating 10 senior living communities in South Florida and Israel, The Palace Group has a very clear understanding of the needs of those with dementia and how to best provide services.
“We had the opportunity with a new community to start from the ground floor and introduce to our families, caregiver programs to help those with dementia as well as to our residents in assisted living,” she said.
“The majority of our staff has moved from the previous location of The Palace Gardens and the opening of the new community was a perfect time to initiate new programs.”
Known as the “Star Activity Program,” social, recreational activities and tactile and visual stimulation are incorporated into the therapeutic programs for memory care residents.
Research indicates treatments that stimulate the senses can improve mood, behavior and day-to-day functioning for people with Alzheimer’s. Art and music may help trigger memories and people can reconnect with their world.
Implemented at The Palace Gardens is the involvement of caregivers and their interaction with the residents. Since these are the individuals that the resident is most comfortable, caregivers are involved with recreational programs helping the residents participate.
“It’s powerful and positive,” Shaham said. “Caregivers can focus on what an individual may enjoy now rather than on what they have lost. Ongoing training makes sure our certified nursing assistants (CNA’s) are providing more than custodial care.”
A special multi-sensory room has been designed to help provide a calming and soothing environment. Aromatherapy, lava lamps, bubble tubes and soft lighting are among its special features.
For tactile and visual stimulation, nostalgic activity areas incorporate familiar objects and themes and include a lady’s vanity area, children’s nursery and man’s office complete with typewriter and telephone.
Also, among the programs is music therapy. Individual iPads are programmed with music people may enjoy or select. Residents at The Palace Gardens who are unable to communicate are expressing themselves through music, tapping a beat or singing along to lyrics.
“We know it’s a difficult time for families and do our best to help them too,” Shaham added. “At every Palace community, there is an emphasis on hospitality and the feeling of family. The Palace Gardens emulates these philosophies.”
The community’s onsite parlor, offering complimentary coffee and pastries and ice cream and an afternoon happy hour every day have become a hub of activity for adult children visiting their parents.
The Palace Gardens also boasts a full service spa and salon designed for use on designated days by residents in the memory care wing and also those in the community’s assisted living residences.
“Our residents left the comfort and familiarity of their home and it’s important this new lifestyle offers the peace of mind their families were seeking for their loved ones,” Shaham said. “Here, families can feel secure their parents have the care and attention as well as the opportunities that enhance their lives.”
At The Palace Gardens, private suites were designed to maximize space and features built-in storage units with flat screen TV’s as well as desks and night tables with telephone chargers and outlets.
Similar to a cruise ship, a full range of events and activities take place each day and are designed specifically to address the needs and wishes of residents in each community: memory care and assisted living. There are morning, afternoon and evening activities that combine educational, spiritual, social and physical activities.
To learn more about The Palace Gardens or its innovative programming, call 305-247-0446 or visit http://thepalace.org/palace-gardens.html.