How do we deliver extraordinary care for our St. Anthony’s residents living with dementia or Alzheimer’s? It all starts with a specialized program we lovingly call Journeys. We believe everyone is on their own life journey full of experiences, blessings, and challenges. That journey doesn’t halt because of a diagnosis. At St. Anthony’s, we ensure our residents continue their life journey in a beautiful and meaningful way despite the challenges they may face.
Journeys is made up of six intentional key signatures that guide residents with purpose and joy. Each and every one of the key signatures was created with your loved one in mind — from their needs to their dreams in life. Our six signatures are:
- Team Development
- Family Partnerships
- Life Enrichment
- Personalized, Supportive Environment
- Dining Experience
Life enrichment is an important Journeys key signature. Here you’ll find that life enrichment means something different. Something more.
What is life enrichment at St. Anthony’s, and why is it such a unique aspect of our Journeys program? Keep reading to find out how we care for our residents, inside and out.
Offering Life Enrichment with Autonomy
To many senior living communities, life enrichment is just an activities calendar. While we do have a wonderful calendar, we offer SO much more than that. Isn’t that what everyone deserves in their golden years?
We believe life enrichment should go far beyond structured activities for our residents living with cognitive impairment. While regimented schedules work for some, they aren’t always the best choice for people diagnosed with dementia.
Scientific research shows that flexibility is an important ingredient of person-centered care. Adapting to the needs, preferences, and personality habits of a person with dementia is key to this kind of individual compassionate care.
Our memory care professionals understand that some structure is important, but that a regimented schedule may be hard to follow. Autonomy is the clear answer for our memory support residents.
To allow for autonomy, we’ve crafted a daily path for St. Anthony’s memory care residents. This daily path includes getting up, having meals, and taking care of hygiene as a loose structure, but with other opportunities as well. The timing of these things can change. With a daily path, our residents have the structure needed to ensure they complete tasks that will take care of their health and wellness while having the flexibility they enjoy.
Providing Activities for Mind, Body, and Spirit
We believe life enrichment is more than just something to pass the time: these activities are designed to uplift, inspire and serve our residents. One of these areas of emphasis is physical engagement. Whether it’s a walk, chair exercise, or another activity to get the blood pumping. Research shows that exercise greatly benefits the brain. In fact, physical activity is one of the known modifiable risk factors for dementia. Taking part in physical activities can also give seniors in memory support purpose and pleasure.
As a faith-based community, we understand the critical importance of spirituality on a regular basis. Spirituality can mean a number of things to different people. At St. Anthony’s, we offer various ways to express and experience spirituality. Our residents may participate in spiritual activities like singing hymns, attending mass, or going to a prayer session. Your loved one may simply enjoy talking about religion or spirituality with peers. These experiences help our residents experience joy and calmness.
St. Anthony’s is sponsored by the Diocese of Kansas City, St. Joseph. We strive to live the values of the Catholic Church and welcome those of all faiths to live in an environment of spiritual care. At times, we’ll have nuns working with our residents and creating a nurturing space.
Empowering with Cognitive Stimulation
For our memory care residents, cognitive stimulation is a major focus, because the benefits of cognitive stimulation are clear. Research shows that seniors who received cognitive stimulation interventions scored significantly higher on cognitive function tests. These tests measure improvements in memory and thinking. This is exactly what we want to support and empower in memory care. Even better, benefits were still being seen even three months after the intervention.
Another aspect of this cognitive stimulation is aromatherapy. As a complementary therapy, scents including lavender, bergamot, and lemon balm can encourage feelings of peace and calmness.
Our team places special emphasis on truly getting to know our residents. In this way, we can have the kinds of conversations that will help them connect to their past. For example, we feature special memory shadow boxes outside of our residents’ rooms. These shadowboxes can include unique items that can launch conversations about past careers, favorite pastimes, family, anything! In knowing our residents’ stories, our St. Anthony’s team is positioned to launch beautiful conversations about what brings residents joy.
Cognitive stimulation efforts also have great effects beyond memory and thinking. This stimulation has been shown to positively impact social interaction, communication, and quality of life. At St. Anthony’s, we understand that everyone’s brain functions differently. From board games to memory triggers, we’re employing cognitive stimulation at St. Anthony’s to support our residents.
Are you considering memory care for your loved one? Learn more about St. Anthony’s premier memory care program and you’ll see how we support our residents and their families.