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When Your Family Member Needs Specialized Dementia Care

By Tom Connor, Brand Ave. Studios contributing writer

As a parent or grandparent ages, family members live in fear that dementia will strip away their loved one’s memories and everything else that makes them unique. The widespread phenomenon even has a name: dementia worry, or DW.

It is estimated that some 5.6 million men and women aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, which are defined as the impaired ability to think, remember, or make decisions with respect to everyday activities.

As the population in the United States ages, the number of citizens with dementia is likely to increase. According to the Centers for Disease Control, by 2040 the number of older adults is expected to exceed 80 million, and by 2060 seniors will make up nearly 25% of the population in America.

Many factors come into play when assisting seniors living with dementia.

Fortunately, at Ovation Heartwood Preserve’s memory care community, every resident is considered unique and every program of specialized dementia care is designed around the individual resident’s needs.

“Whether it be health-wise or nutritional-wise or activity-wise, we understand what we need to do in order to treat a resident’s needs on an individual basis,” said Collette Mieres, Executive Director at Ovation Heartwood Preserve.

This and other data is loaded into each resident’s plan so that staff can see, for example, that a particular resident would rather have a one-on- one conversation than watch TV, Mieres said.

In addition to a staff specially trained in caring for seniors with dementia, she and her team partner with professionals and outside service providers to help, in her words, “our residents age in place every step of the way.”

Memory care residents do not need to leave campus for care. Physical and occupational therapists are called in on a regular basis, along with weekly visits from a gerontologist and, if needed, additional nursing support and hospice care.

Also located on the Ovation campus in Omaha is Meadowlark, a female-only memory care neighborhood created by women for women.

“We’re making sure that we have a continuum of care,” said Mieres. “We want to grow with our residents and to be able to adapt to their needs as their dementia progresses so they continue living on campus.”

This level of care makes memory care at Ovation Heartwood Preserve special, giving the families of residents an invaluable sense of security in the face of dementia.

For more information about specialized dementia care at Ovation Heartwood Preserve, visit OvationHeartwoodPreserve.com or call (402) 235-4441.

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