Living in a Moments Neighbourhood is more like living with your "Sons and Daughters"….except you have more say! It is the concept of living at home in a small intimate environment, where we control stimulation, change and accommodate 24/7 the specialized needs of our residents with dementia. Our goal in this Neighbourhood is to connect with our residents and support family through a disease process that takes so much but makes us stop….. and truly live in the present.
Symphony Senior Living has developed the "Moments" Neighbourhood and program, to accommodate residents with Alzheimer's and other Dementias. Specifically designed Neighbourhoods provide homelike environments, with small multiple lounge areas, lots of wandering space, life skill stations, tactile stimulation and quiet snoezelen lounges.
Moments programs are provided by universal and designated care managers, with one main care manager designated to each resident and family. This provides continuity of service and the ability of the care manager to understand the resident and his or her needs intimately and respond to changes in condition and symptoms more proactively.
On the path of Alzheimer's disease the resident will begin to live more and more in the moment. Short term memories begin to fade at such a rate that to live in any other manner is conflicting, confusing and will create frustration and aggression. Residents are often more comfortable "in the moment" as that is the most accessible memory they have - Symphony team members join them in this moment and help them to live fully in the present, with whatever abilities they have. In some cultures, it is the highest achievement and ultimate enlightenment to be able to live fully and completely in the present. With no attachment brings no suffering.
Symphony actively assists our residents with memory impairment to live fully in the present, we help families understand the disease and how they can continue to make meaningful connections with their loved ones, without frustration. We try helping families to understand and accept their grief and then join their loved one on their journey.
Symphony is currently developing innovative programs to train all staff in choice driven, residential dementia care. Innovative programs in development also include "The Night Owl Club", the "Symphony Circle of Friends" a dementia specific community outreach program to support residents and families with the transition to communal based care. These programs can be added to most operations offering Assisted Living services.
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!"