Person-centered activities that cater to the individual needs of residents with dementia have become more common among providers like Senior Management Advisors (SMA). Some have created their own evidence-based programs that benefit residents of their communities.

Aegis Living, for example, recently launched its new program, Life’s Neighborhood, aimed at reducing stress and anxiety by recreating the “familiarity and comfort of the neighborhood of yesteryear.” The program helps build a strong bond between staff and residents—whether chatting about pastimes while tidying up the apartment, looking at old photos, or strolling together in the courtyard.

Create Familiar Surroundings

In addition, the physical space in a Life’s Neighborhood is “reminiscent of a large family home in the 1940s and 1950s, designed to encourage an environment of socializing in a nostalgic setting,” the company says.

Like SMA life skill stations, Aegis Living also places special stations throughout its communities in an effort to “create settings from the past that act as a mental nudge back to remembered skills and interests,” according to the company’s website. The stations replicate routines and tasks that are familiar and comforting.

Another provider making its foray into specialized care and activities for residents with dementia is Atria Senior Living Group, Louisville, Ky. The company partnered with Alzheimer’s disease expert David Troxel, author of “The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care,” to develop its Life Guidance program. The goal of the program is to strengthen the relationship between residents and their families and Atria caregivers, who provide support, education, and information.

Troxel’s care model of being a “Best Friend” to those struggling with memory impairment is reflected in Atria’s program, which already focuses on providing individualized care for each resident.

Foster Self Expression 

Prestige Care, Vancouver, Wash., embraces a memory care activities program based on nurturing “body, heart, soul, and mind.”

Called Expressions of My Life, activities are aimed at residents’ self expression. Among the activities offered to residents are exercise programs; an opportunity to enjoy artistic expression through painting, poetry, and music; and lifelong learning opportunities. In addition, Expressions staff members receive special training.