I recently attended the Leading Age national conference in Philadelphia. This organization represents non-profit senior living throughout the United States and there gathered were 7000 members strong; all with voices advocating for the future of our vulnerable elders. There is rarely a moment where I look into the faces of everyone around me and realize that all of us have chosen this journey of caring and I’m inspired by the stories and the hope that are shared by so many.
Dementia care, Memory Support, Memory Care...These words describe one of the fastest growing and most highly-needed areas of care our nation faces. Throughout large cities, sprawling suburbia or rural landscapes, people are trying desperately each day to grasp the day-to-day challenges of caring for those they love who have been diagnosed with dementia. Providing a space that honors them while enriching and nurturing them is the goal for all of us who are here to provide care and support. We are proud to be adding this area to Pickering Manor as part of our Expansion.
Once opened, we will continue our mission of providing a small family-oriented space dedicated to Memory Care where 21 residents will thrive in a setting structured to engage and allow them freedom to be themselves. Freedom to be Themselves...that must be the emphasis we honor. After all, isn’t that exactly what we all want for ourselves? Why should that change because a diagnosis may rob us of memories we held dear? That area will be staffed and managed by a Certified Dementia Practitioner who is trained and who is certified to teach and train others.
As this project continues to evolve, we will immerse ourselves in the task of preparing a ‘neighborhood’ within our neighborhood. We are already researching exciting and creative programming to offer our residents. Our goal is to make Newtown a ‘Dementia-friendly Town’. Please understand....we need to do this; we must do this ~ for the future of our current residents and for the generations that will follow them. We will allow them the freedom Live the Life they Love.
This hope is truly apparent at Pickering Manor. As most of you have seen, we are finally in the construction phase of building the expansion and renovation that we’ve been actively working toward for 5 years. A large area has been excavated and the footings are preparing to be poured. We ask of our residents, families, staff and neighbors continued support and patience as we work toward an exciting and beautiful future!
And so, please know that I am thankful for all of you; throughout the year but especially in this month of November when we’re reminded that giving thanks for all that has been given us is paramount and should never, ever be taken for granted. It also happens to be national Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, so please be kind and tolerant to those who may not be able to understand. Offer a hand or a hug to those who may feel lonely or isolated, and listen closely to the voices of those who care for them.