More than a home away from home, Marion Oaks Assisted Living facility is helping those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia lead a joyful and satisfying life. The residents’ quality of life is the No. 1 priority, from the caring management to the loving nursing staff.
What is your background and how did you get into this field?
I originally began my career in the health field as a life enrichment coordinator/resident care aide. I began with entry level education in the field without a whole lot of knowledge about Alzheimer’s and dementia. As I worked with my residents and participated in classes on dementia, my curiosity grew and I began researching on my own how I could “connect” with my residents and enhance their quality of life. Through my research and studying, I learned about various types of dementia and the differences between dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Why is the field of Alzheimer’s/dementia care your passion?
Growing up as a young child I witnessed some of the physical, emotional and mental effects of dementia personally. Not only did this disease affect my grandmother but our family as a whole. I couldn’t understand why my grandmother behaved as she did, why she couldn’t remember, etc. I had so many questions but no answers. It wasn’t until adulthood that I realized she suffered from dementia. From that moment on, the field of Alzheimer’s/dementia became my passion.
Tell us a little about the activities and benefits of a patient living on a memory care unit.
Purpose-built memory care communities create a lifestyle of comfort, security and purpose for our residents. Programs and activities are created to encourage current strengths and abilities, promote cognitive function, stimulate reminiscence and provide joy and meaning. Our staff members know what kinds of activities work best to create physical, spiritual, mental and social wellness for our residents. Programs are designed to meet their preferences and allow them to continue pursuing their hobbies. Alzheimer’s disease is an ever-growing concern, and until there’s a cure, it’s our mission here at Marion Oaks Assisted Living to provide our seniors with memory loss care and as much quality of life as possible.
What are life skill stations, and how do they work?
The goal of life skill stations is to create small vignettes that help dementia residents spark old memories and create activities that encourage interest, movement and interaction. I know this is a key feature that needs to be integrated to further support the quality of life for residents.
Marion Oaks Assisted Living
3590 SW 137th Loop, Ocala