BayView Senior Assisted Living is nestled on a hill in Point Loma overlooking the beautiful San Diego Bay. It’s serene, sunny, peaceful. Sometimes people wonder if the physical setting matters when caring for the elderly, especially those individuals with memory care issues. We think so. We think it’s one of the many factors that should be addressed in caring for those with cognitive disorders.
The management of BayView recently attended a training titled: “A Non-Pharmacological Approach to Addressing Dementia-Related Behaviors” hosted by the California Assisted Living Association. The Presenter, Jennifer Schlesinger, Director of Professional Training and Healthcare Services from the California Southland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association did a fantastic job of informing and reminding the audience of the different approaches to addressing dementia related behaviors. Kudos to them as we in the business of caring for those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia agree that we need to address their special needs in a non-pharmacologic, person-centered approach.
That’s precisely what we at BayView Senior Assisted Living do with all our residents. We strive to develop and train our staff to understand neither the person nor the behavior is the issue — the issue is the need or feeling that the person is trying to communicate with the behavior. Everyone at BayView understands the changes in the brain caused by dementia alter how people communicate. When we’re tired or hungry or in pain we can tell someone or go and eat, but those with memory care issues may not be able to do anything that would normally tell another person they’re hungry, tired, or in pain. We try and learn our resident’s behaviors and determine what they’re trying to communicate before they need to turn to medical professionals for medications, or reacting to them in a certain way. It is important to stop, and remember the disease process associated with dementia and adapt to meet the need or feeling that’s being conveyed by the behavior. This is what drives our essential oils aroma-therapy program, our music program showcasing music throughout the day that our residents loved when they were young. It is why we gear our activity program towards fine and large motor skills with feeling, occupational therapy mechanisms and art. A Kinesiologist comes weekly to reinforce proper moving techniques for both the staff and residents, and provides important reminders how to prevent infections or sores that can be dangerous to our residents. That’s what we’re in the business of, and that’s what drives us to be better each day. If you’re looking for 24/7 assistance for a loved one with or without a form of dementia we would love to meet you and them!