People with memory loss live in a world which is their own and they do not always recognize the world as we know it. They have lived whole lives and lost a great deal of the lives they created and the loved ones who lived in that life with them. Older people with memory loss are alive and still have life to live, still need friends, they still love, still feel and can lead full and joyful lives in the right environment. The ultimate disrespect of these people is to deny them quality of life simply because they are unable to function as they have in the past. People with memory loss need a world that will accomodate them where they are, that they may live out their lives with dignity and respect and maintain quality of life. They deserve to be in an environment where trained people can help them to maintain as much of their individuality as possible. Skilled nursing is not an environment where physically well people can maximize quality of life.
Robert and Mary’s Place and Living Center
Memory loss, for what ever reason, is a medical malady with social ramifications. Our dream is to create an environment where people with memory loss can live as full a life as is possible at the highest level of cognitive function and independence possible. Instead of a pill, or medical solution, the Living Center offers an environment in which persons with memory loss can be well and thrive throughout their lives. Where home and family members, caregivers, other people with memory loss and community members maximize the feelings of love and worth.
With clients of Robert & Mary’s Place, and their families, we’ve learned how difficult full-time caregiving can be and how impossible it is to find a suitable place to get medical care AND live well when illness or exhaustion results in the need for a change of living arrangement. The living center is about meeting this critical need in a new way. It is a place and a philosophy that mark the beginning of new development in meeting the growing need for supports to persons with memory loss. It is a place where people live and play together in a new sort of home. The center will provide physical, social and spiritual support to people with memory loss and their loved ones. Most importantly, while the standards for care will exceed all the minimums required for residential long term care services offered in other settings, the critical difference is the underlying philosophy – that a living center at its core is a new way to care about, with and for persons with memory loss that shifts the focus from medical solutions to environmental, program and daily tools that are available to address individual resident’s needs.