Symphony Memory Care
At Symphony, we offer exceptional Memory Care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our Moments ® Neighbourhoods offer comfortable and spacious living areas that include a resident kitchen and dining room, living room and lounge areas, resident and family laundry areas, and a spa tub and accessible shower rooms. The environment is small and very home-like. This helps improve morale and increase comfort levels, so residents feel calmer and at ease.
Symphony is renowned for our leadership and expertise in the field of Memory Care. Our proprietary program, called “Moments ®”, was developed by Symphony with assistance from 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.
What we offer
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
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.
The 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.
Upon 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 1:1 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.
Music and MemorySM Program
At Symphony, we are trained and certified in the renowned Music and Memory SM 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 sun downing
Safety and Security
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.