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The Willows Memory Care Program Leads to Lasting Friendship
Despite differences, Pennsylvania, West Virginia women find bond.
Duda, 87, is a native Pennsylvanian. Urczyk, 90, hails from West Virginia.
Duda is deeply religious. Urczyk appreciates the world of fashion.
The common denominator was a true friendship first cultivated when they resided in the Willow Heights independent living community, and became even stronger when circumstances dictated that both women eventually moved to the senior living Residence at Willow Lane. When memory loss and other cognitive issues arose, both Alma and Georgia entered the Pathways Memory Care Program at Willow Lane.
“The two were inseparable when they became friends at Willow Heights,” said Sara Delio, Director of Sales and Marketing at The Residence on Willow Lane. “They ate together, enjoyed activities together and would often sit in the entry hallway greeting visitors and talking about what the day would bring.”
The Pathways Memory Care Program helps residents and their families deal with the effects of memory loss. The program impacts lives year-round, but takes on added significance in November, which is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and National Family Caregivers Month.
“Alma and Georgia flourished at Willow Lane until cognitive issues came into play, and each in her own way, changed drastically,”
“In Pathways, residents are involved in many different activities -- exercises, crafts, social interactions and normalization activities,”
“You’re able to stay in one campus, all the buildings are connected. It’s a centralized location,” Delio said of Willow Heights and Willow Lane. “The difference in our Memory Care Program is it is a smaller, more intimate setting. It makes it feel like home as opposed to a larger, clinical setting. Everyone has an apartment, a living room area, a kitchen area, a common area, a deck. It’s cozy. You can feel as close to home as possible.”
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.
“When a resident comes into any one of our residences, we request the family to fill out a five-page Life Story,” Stern said. “This enables our staff to know a resident’s likes and dislikes, his or her hobbies and interests, family members that are special to them, their favorite car, the pets they've had, the little things but important things.
“This information helps us calm or redirect a memory care resident,” Stern added. “It allows us to know what things make them happy and what specialized activities to pursue.”
Recreational activities and memory and sensory activities are integrated into the structured daily routine. The dining services program promotes independence by serving appropriate foods and portions.
“We are able to offer a continuum of care at The Willows -- Independent Living, Senior Living and Pathways Memory Care,” Delio said. “Although we have three specific and unique programs, we are able to include all of our residents for many of our events, which enhances the feeling of family throughout the community.
“And if the time comes that more care is needed we will smoothly make that transition for the resident and their family,” she added. “Our team strives to provide the best quality of life for each resident in the community no matter their level of care, essentially meaning There’s Something for Everyone.”
For more information contact Sara Delio, Director of Sales and Marketing, or Phyllis Stern, Director of Sales and Move Ins, at The Residence at Willow Lane at 412.331.6139. On the Web visit www.integracare.com or follow us on Facebook. The Residence at Willow Lane is located at 30 Heckel Road, McKees Rocks, PA 15136.