Memory and Dementia Care at Symphony Senior Living

Memory & Dementia Care

Symphony is renowned for our leadership and expertise in the field of Memory Care. Our proprietary program, called “Moments®”, was developed by Symphony with the assistance of several long standing experienced members of the dementia care community in both the US and Canada, and is based on many accepted and prevailing practices which are known to reduce symptoms of dementia and reduce the use of psychotropic drugs. We continually incorporate the extensive data and cutting edge research of leading organizations such as The Alzheimer's Society, Women's Brain Health Initiative and many others in an effort to provide the best possible Memory Care for our residents.

Our hands-on experience also gives us unique insights and we listen and learn every day. For example, one of our team members suggested we try wearing PJ’s during the night, as many residents were waking up and they were confused by people walking around in day clothes and the bright lights; so we reduced the lighting and changed into PJ's...the best part was when our team members came back to us and said "it’s working, our residents see us in PJ’s and realize it is the middle of the night and back to bed they go." Sometimes it is the small, common sense ideas that can make a huge difference.

Symphony Senior Living


Residents enjoying themselves at Symphony Senior Living
Symphony Senior Living provides loving and compassion memory care services for all its residents.

The Moments Story

Husband and wife formally dressed at a table with a rose

"One day a gentleman with Alzheimer's was getting ready to leave his assisted living community with his wife for the evening, to attend a musical gala. The care managers helped him get ready and when his wife came to pick him up, they took him down to her car; they both looked beautiful in their formal wear and looked like any other couple attending the gala. When the wife returned back to the community later that evening, the care manager was waiting to take her husband back inside. She asked how the evening had gone. The wife said; "it was wonderful, the music was great, he enjoyed it and connected with the music and was happy... he will not remember any of this tomorrow, but tonight we had this “moment” and it was beautiful!"

Our Moments program at Symphony Senior Living is exceptional.
Symphony Senior Living provides pet friendly memory care services.

Why is the Moments® Program Different?

The Symphony Moments® Memory Care Program is very different from other more clinical programs that are offered elsewhere. At its core, our Moments® program places a very high importance on the intrinsic social needs of our residents:

  • the need for companionship and understanding,
  • the need for respect and dignity
  • the need to belong to a social group of peers
  • the need to be an active participant in their lives through decision-making and participation in meaningful activities throughout the day

We developed this program to meet the unique needs of seniors at all stages of Alzheimer’s, dementia or other forms of memory impairment. As the disease progresses, time and place no longer have the same meaning they once did. Our caregivers seek to be in the resident’s world, in their “moment, providing a comfortable and enjoyable place for them to feel safe, in control and appreciated. We focus not on what is missing, but on what is still there. We validate or confirm their thoughts and emotions; we do not attempt to reason or correct them. Trying to reason with someone who has lost the power to reason only serves to create conflict. This approach allows our residents to feel content and calmer by minimizing confusion, agitation and frustration.

Family and Resident Support

In our Moments Neighbourhood, our goal is to connect with our residents and support families through a disease process that takes so much, but makes us stop…..and truly live in the present moment.

Support for residents and families includes:

  • A specially trained team member designated to each resident and family to foster trust, build relationships and provide proactive care that results from familiarity
  • Small, calm living areas with tactile enhancements to help residents feel at home and comfortable
  • Ample wandering space so residents can explore freely, yet with the protection of security and safety measures in place
  • Structured daily activities that enable residents to remain as engaged as possible and preserve their self esteem
  • Reminiscing life skill activity stations to give residents the opportunity to revisit precious times and meaningful activities in their lives
  • Family and caregiver support groups to help the whole family not only understand disease symptoms and progression, but also learn how to cope with the impact on their own lives
  • Unrestricted visiting hours allowing family and friends to visit at all times, just like home
  • Palliative care to make passages gentle and peaceful

Designated Resident Specialists

In our Moments® Program, care is provided by our highly trained Designated Resident Specialists (DRS), who work directly with each resident and their family. Each DRS cares for a small group of residents, thus they are able to keep a close eye on each resident and are uniquely positioned to observe and react to any health changes, even subtle ones. They become a friend the resident and a resource that the family can turn to for emotional support and information. The DRS approach is especially appreciated our families, as they know they can consistently turn to one person at the community who knows their loved one well.

Individualized care can include:

  • Assistance with bathing or showering
  • Daily cueing and assistance with activities of daily living, grooming, dressing and hygiene
  • Special assistance during sundown, agitation or other times of stress
  • Medication administration
  • Escort to and from meals
  • Assistance with mobility or transferring
  • Companionship during a group or individual outing
  • Oxygen/rehab/wound dressing assistance
  • Continence Management
  • Assistance caring for your personal pet
Symphony Senior Living's resident specialists are at the community to help our residents
We care about our residents here at Symphony Senior Living
Read More about Resident Care at Symphony

Active Living

Residents and care takers with bean bagsThe Moments’ team at Symphony encourages families and friends to be part of the circle of care. There are events and activities that welcome family members as participants and education is provided about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This knowledge can help the whole family not only understand disease symptoms and progression, but also learn how to cope with the impact on their own lives. We help families understand the disease and how they can continue to make meaningful connections with their loved ones, without frustration.

Two ladies putting a puzzle togetherUpon move-in, our Activities Coordinator personally meets with each resident and their loved ones, to best determine their needs, interests and abilities. This valuable information is then incorporated into the resident’s individualized care plan so that we can fully meet their physical and social needs. Our goal is to provide activities that are meaningful, engaging and stimulating to encourage a sense of purpose and peace for our residents.

A cornerstone of the Moments® program is to maintain our residents’ lifelong routines. By participating in various tasks that they may have done throughout their whole life (such as setting tables, folding laundry or raking the lawn), residents feel productive and worthwhile, thereby increasing their self-esteem. It is not uncommon to see our residents assisting with morning chores and other household tasks. Additionally, we offer a structured activity program that runs 10 hours per day, 7 days a week. This unique program is designed to engage the mind, body and spirit and includes physical activities such as outdoor walks, dancing and ring toss; cognitive stimulation such as reminiscing, word games and board games; occupational activities such as baking and gardening; music appreciation, arts and crafts and so much more. The combination of structured and unstructured activities helps us to achieve our never ending goal of creating delightful days for our residents.

Read More about Life Enrichment at Symphony Senior Living
Resident playing with doll at Symphony Senior Living.
Man using typewriter at Symphony Senior Living.

Life Skill Stations

In Moments, special “Life Skill” activity stations can be found throughout the neighbourhood that enable our residents to relive happy memories from their past. These areas are designed to focus on family, work, hobbies or pastimes. One may have a baby crib and rocking chair, complete with life-like dolls to stimulate the memory of family, others may have a work bench or type-writer, and others have clothing and vanities that can be used to re-enact getting ready to go out for a special evening or date. We encourage our residents and families to spend time at these life skill stations, which bring such comfort and familiarity to many of our residents.

Dining and Nutrition

Upon move-in, our Food Services Coordinator will meet with the resident and their family to review all dietary preferences and any special instructions or restrictions. This important information is then incorporated into the resident’s individualized care plan. All of our residents enjoy three delicious and nutritious home-cooked meals daily, and a wide variety of snacks and refreshments are available around the clock. We are also very cognizant of the unique dining needs of our residents, utilizing adaptive china dishware that allows our residents to maintain their independence for as long as possible. Water dispensers are located throughout the building to encourage our residents to stay hydrated.

In our Moments Neighbourhood, an important element of our programming is to provide a small, home-like dining area. This allows us to create more intimate and supportive dining experiences for our residents who may require assistance with activities of daily living, such as eating. Our Resident Specialists plate and serve the resident meals, as one family member would do for another family member in their home. Resident Specialists know our residents, their frailties and needs better than anyone else in our communities. Just like a son or daughter, they can make mealtime a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Please feel free to visit any of our locations for a complimentary meal to experience our warm hospitality and our delicious food.

Resident enjoying a drink at Symphony Senior Living.
Dining area at Symphony Senior Living
Residents learning at Symphony Senior Living.
Resident watching television at Symphony Senior Living

It’s Never 2 Late® Cognitive Exercise

Research is increasingly telling us that staying mentally active promotes healthy aging. For those early on the cognitive decline path, a myriad of games and experiences can help keep their brain sharp, and there are multiple research studies showing that brain fitness can help slow cognitive decline. For people farther down the dementia path, multimedia experiences of music and digital imagery can turn agitation and anxiety into calmness and enjoyment.

Symphony Senior Living utilizes a cutting edge computer technology system called “It’s Never 2 Late®”. This computer based program is used by our staff to engage residents through the use of interactive games, puzzles, visual programming, music and internet access. The technology is geared toward the elderly and gives them the opportunity to participate in activities either in a group or one-to-one setting. It’s Never 2 Late® (IN2L) improves socialization and quality of life and can be adapted to each resident’s unique abilities and interests. On any given day, residents can be seen gathered in our lounge areas enjoying trivia games with our staff or visiting faraway places as part of a travel series.

Steps taken to slow disease progression

Cutting-edge research indicates that proper nutrition, medication, physical and brain exercise, and routine health monitoring can dramatically influence residents’ daily abilities, quality of life and health.

Some of the steps taken in our Moments® Program to slow down the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias include:

  • Specialized diets enriched with omega 3 and vitamins
  • Hydration programs
  • Cognitive exercise regimens
  • Physical strength training and exercise
  • Music, aroma and massage therapy
  • Physical, speech and occupational therapy
  • Fall prevention training
Residents at Symphony Senior Living enjoying a meal.
Residents Exercising With Dumbbells at Symphony Senior Living

Music and Memory℠ Program

At Symphony we are trained and certified in the renowned Music and Memory℠ Therapeutic Music Program. This simple, yet extremely effective program allows us to create individualized play lists of songs that can be pleasing, engaging or soothing to each of our residents. To choose the songs that resonate with each individual, we collaborate with family, friends and the Designated Resident Specialists. These songs are then loaded onto an IPod and given to our residents for their enjoyment.

The benefits of this program include:

  • Participants are happier and more social.
  • Relationships among staff, participants and family deepen.
  • Everyone benefits from a calmer, more supportive social environment.
  • There is growing evidence that a personalized music program gives professionals one more tool in their effort to reduce reliance on anti-psychotic medications
  • Reduces agitation and sundowning
Caregivers And Residents Dancing at Symphony Senior Living
Caring staff at Symphony Senior Living.
Resident Sitting In A Chair at Symphony Senior Living

Safety and Security

At Symphony, the safety, security and well-being of our residents is a top priority. Symphony Senior Living is one of the first companies in Canada to engage the renowned “Momentum Real time Location System”. This is a state-of-the-art wireless location and emergency call system that we use to keep our residents safe and secure. Momentum badges are worn by both residents and staff members. The software is able to locate these badges in real-time, with location updates published every 3 seconds.

Each resident has their own personal Momentum badge. This badge has a large button on it, which the resident can push from anywhere. When pressed, a request for assistance message is delivered immediately to the care team via mobile device. Not only does the message include the resident’s name, but it also gives their precise location, whether it is within the resident’s suite, in the dining room or in the garden area. This enables the Resident Specialists to promptly respond to the specific resident’s location - a level of service un-matched in many retirement residences. Each Resident Specialist also wears their own personal Momentum badge, which gives us insight into interaction between our Residents and their care givers. This is a very effective tool showing what activities our residents take part in and the one-on-one interaction they receive each and every day.

Symphony is very pleased to offer this exceptional service to our residents. It gives families peace of mind knowing that they are safe and that our care staff can quickly respond to any calls for assistance.

Memory Boxes

In our Moments neighbourhood, each resident has a “Memory Box” located outside of their suite door. This collection of photos and mementos tells their life story and allows us to engage in meaningful conversation and activities that are important to that resident. It is just one more way visitors and staff can connect with the seniors who live with us.

Symphony Senior Living Memory Boxes

Moments Day and Night Programs…
Help when you need it

If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer's or any type of dementia, and you work during the day or simply need a break, our Day Program or Night Owl Programs can provide you with the support you need. Our unique day and night programs assist those who are caring for a loved one with memory loss, while providing participants with meaningful life-enriching time in a comfortable and safe home-like environment. Below is a summary of what is included in the programs, for specific details, please contact us directly.

Moments® Day and Night Owl Programs can provide the following services:

  • Half or full day, evening or overnight options to suit your needs
  • Basic health assessments
  • Participation in our Moments® Memory Care Program
  • Supervision from our trained Resident Specialists
  • Chef prepared hot meals and unlimited snacks
  • Suite available for the participants to take a rest if needed and quiet lounge
    areas for relaxation
  • Opportunity for socialization in a safe and secure environment
  • Day, evening and nighttime activities
  • Transportation to and from program included where possible
  • Support for families and caregivers
  • Unlimited use of reminiscing Life Skill activity areas
Day and Night Senior Living Service at Symphony Senior Living

Moments® Day Program Options:

  • Full Day Program - 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • Morning Program – 8:00am to 11:30am
  • Afternoon Program – 12:00 noon to 4:00pm

Night Owl Program

Often those with dementia have their sleep patterns reversed, getting up in the night and napping during the day, leaving the care giver exhausted due to sleep deprivation. Our Night Owl program is designed to provide caregivers with the treasured night sleep they deserve, by offering overnight care and activities for their loved ones in a secure, home-like environment. Participants have the use of a suite for sleeping or if they prefer, can spend time doing quiet activities with our uniquely trained Resident Specialists, who even wear pajamas at night!

Night Owl Program Options:

  • Evening Program – 5:00pm to 10:00pm
  • Night Owl Overnight Program – 8:00pm to 8:00am
More Information on our Day and Night Programs