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Senior Assisted Living Blog

Social Engagement and Wandering - Assisted Living

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Social Engagement and Wandering - Assisted Living

Enjoying meaningful activities or programs is an essential part of any good dementia care community. The right activities can help residents stay physically and mentally active as well as feel alive and happier. At Spring Arbor Living and the Oaks our goals/objectives for social engagement are:

  • offer meaningful daily activities that include a sense of community, choices, interest and enjoyment
  • design activities and to do with the residents .. not to them or for them - we feel this is extremely important
  • respect residents' preferences, including when they prefer to be alone

We know that meaningful daily social interactions offer a sense of dignity and promote self-esteem.  Wandering can also be a healthy part of these activities.

Many in assisted living care assume that wandering is something that should be stopped, when in fact it is extremely important to support a person’s movement. We encourage the person to move about safely and independently and work hard at understanding the meaning of a person’s wandering. It may indicate an unmet need such as hunger or boredom.  Wandering can be helpful when it provides stimulation, promotes social contact or helps maintain mobility.

Dementia, Did you know?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, February 04, 2010

Dementia may cause people to eat and drink less. They may not recognize that they are hungry or thirsty. In addition, some people with dementia can't smell and/or taste as well as they could before. In addition, they may also have trouble swallowing.

Nutrition Impact - Not eating enough or eating an unhealthy diet can worsen a resident's health.  Our high level goals for nutrition are as follows:

  • To provide systems/programs that detect and prevent malnutrition
  • We assure excellent nutrition through food selection, factoring in personal preferences and tastes
  • We make meal times pleasant and enjoyable
  • Snacks are provided throughout the day

We know good eating habits may help prevent complications, prolong independence, and improve quality of life. The key is the essential preventive systems we have in place that include: Effective interdisciplinary communication systems to share important information; effective weight-tracking systems to identify significant changes; and efficient methods of tracking food and fluid intake. Lastly, nutrition screening tools for early identification and intervention help to prevent problems and tailor interventions for each individual.

What is Assisted Living?

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Assisted Living Federation of America defines assisted living as a senior living facility that combines housing, support services and health care, as needed.  Assisted living is specifically designed for individuals who require assistance with everyday activities such as preparing/eating meals, medication management or assistance, bathing, dressing and transportation.  Some residents may have memory disorders including Alzheimer's, or they may need help with mobility, incontinence or other challenges.  Spring Arbor Living and The Oaks  residents needs are assessed upon move in, or any time there is a change in their condition. The assessment is used to develop an Individualized Service Plan or to place them in the proper residents plan.