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Dementia Friendly Home

Creating a Dementia Friendly Home

In concert with our goal to help individuals with memory impairment live the highest quality of life and to age in place, we have created a comprehensive service called the Dementia Friendly Home℠. The purpose of this service is to create a living environment that is conducive to someone with a progressive brain disease. Many environments, whether in the family home or in an assisted/skilled setting, have features that undoubtedly cause increased agitation for someone who may be struggling to communicate or make sense of the world around them. The more confusion and/or distress the individual with impairment experiences, the more “behavioral expressions” will be exhibited; this, in turn, causes stress for family and/or paid caregivers and the relationship and well being of all concerned can suffer greatly. Creating a “dementia friendly home” will pave the way for a safe, appropriately stimulating, and easy-to-navigate home environment where the individual with dementia can feel more relaxed, peaceful, and at home with themselves.

How the Process Works

The Dementia Friendly Home℠ is a detailed, customized service performed by a Certified Dementia Practitioner. The service, accompanied by an evaluation, will assist the family by providing solutions to common causes of behavioral expressions.

The first step in creating a Dementia Friendly Home℠ is for us to meet with family members, caregivers, and the individual with impairment – in the family home. A thorough assessment is performed, including discussions and interviews with all care providers as well as observation and conversation with the individual with impairment. Observing how the Individual dwells and functions in their own living environment is essential ~ as is our own objective “walk-through” of the home. Once the initial intake is complete, we will soon after provide Observations and Recommendations tailored specifically toward this particular Individual in this particular living environment.

Wellness Care

At Sage Solutions, we work with individuals both with and without memory impairment, employing many of the same modalities, just applied differently. For example, aromatherapy is wonderful for virtually everyone, but its use and application will vary depending upon the level of impairment, needs, and receptivity of the client.

Each client is treated with the utmost care, tenderness, and patience. Depending upon the level of memory impairment, often family members and/or staff are involved in our initial assessment. Although we try to gain as much information as possible from the older adult themselves; much can be gained by observation and just spending quality time with an individual paying attention to the non-verbal cues.

We have developed a tool called an Environmental and Sensory Assessment, the results of which form the basis for the individualized plan to optimize well being, reduce stress, and live a life more fully, no matter where that might be. Through the art of casual conversation, we learn from the older adult (or their closest contact) what brings them joy, both internally and in their external world. With great curiosity, we discern what might be missing in the client’s life, whether large or small. We carefully observe, ask questions, and observe some more, often over two or three meetings. Delving into the five senses, we ask about favorite sights, sounds (beyond music), scents, tastes, etc. It is well known that much of the agitation expressed by those with memory impairment is a result of an unmet need and/or an inability to express. Our goal is to work toward meeting those needs in a very holistic and creative manner with the ultimate outcome of a happier and calmer older adult – and likely their caregivers as well. We also take a person’s living arrangement into consideration. Whether the client is living in their own home in the community, or in facility, there are many options, often incredibly simple, for improving the space in which they dwell.

Each client is viewed as an individual and each plan is a representation of the uniqueness of that person. Based upon the information we gather, we create a roadmap for the journey upon which we are about to embark. Of great importance is the fact that our map allows us to navigate through the many forks in the road leading to potential solutions.  And each bend or fork in the road represents another opportunity for wellness – mirroring the fact that each day is a new day for the client.  We are steadfastly committed to meeting the client where they are and encouraging them to lead the way.