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Memory Care Program Life-Changing for Veteran, Family
World War II veteran tells fellow residents and staff in Magnolias of Lancaster Memory Care Program about his Air Force Missions.
The 88-year-old former Pittsburgh resident provides inspiration not only through his service to his country, but also because of the strides he’s made in the Magnolias of Lancaster Memory Care Program.
Since becoming a part of the Magnolias of Lancaster community in August, Sahady has participated in a number of activities and is popular among residents and staff. The Memory Care Program at Magnolias of Lancaster impacts residents every day, but the program takes on even added significance in November, which is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.
“He wears his white ballcap with the Air Force insignia and the CBI (China, Burma, India) logo patch,” said Melissa Waltman, Executive Director at Magnolias of Lancaster. “He always tells the story of how he never was shot down during World War II but one time his engine failed. It took him two or three weeks of walking to get back to his team. The locals had to help him and hide him.”
Sahady’s daughters reside in Lancaster. For health reasons, they felt it was necessary to move their father closer to them. As Bill settled into Magnolias of Lancaster, the staff assembled his “Life Story,” a detailed profile that enables the Memory Care Program team to learn about his family, work history, hobbies, favorite foods and much more.
“We really just worked with the family to learn about him through our Life Story process, which I feel is very, very critical to the care of our residents,” Waltman said. “It helps us get to know them and who they were. It helps us to direct them and engage them.”
The IntegraCare Memory Care Program has six primary objectives:
· To provide opportunities for meaningful activities promoting quality of life.
· A focus on remaining skill and abilities.
· Create an environment that facilitates a sense of belonging.
· Provide opportunities that ensure purposeful use of time.
· Support positive behaviors and reduce risk of incidents of negative behavior.
· Provide an experience for verbal and non-verbal communication.
Residents are encouraged to participate in productive work typical of their former lifestyle as part of the Memory Care Program.
Bill and his family have enjoyed the personal touch and community-minded approach at Magnolias of Lancaster.
“He’s done really well and gotten really involved,” Waltman said. “The daughters are here all the time. They participate in activities. One of his daughters made 10 pumpkin pies for Oktoberfest and brought them here. She had an opportunity to dance with her dad. She saw her dad dancing with other people. It was so important to her to see her dad immersed in our program.”
Waltman said Magnolias of Lancaster’s Reminiscence screen also has impacted residents and their families, who help gather photographs of their loved one to be displayed in a video montage on the flat screen television in a common area.
“The Reminiscence screen has pictures of our residents with their families,” Waltman said. “We have photos of their work and vacations. But we also have photos of events and activities like our Oktoberfest, or the accordion player who visited. They love to sit up there and look at the new pictures. It’s a great activity.”
Waltman said Magnolias of Lancaster’s Memory Care Program is a great fit for the region.
“We’re small. For us in Lancaster this is all we do,” Waltman said. “We are the only stand-alone Memory Care program in Lancaster County. That makes a big difference. We have 38 residents. We’re very cozy and very homelike. We want our families to feel welcome and want to come to visit. We want our residents to feel like they’re in their home.”
For more information, contact Melissa Waltman, Executive Director Magnolias of Lancaster, at 717.560.1100 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On the Web visit IntegraCare.com or follow us on Facebook. Magnolias of Lancaster is located at 1870 Rohrerstown Road, Lancaster, PA 17601.