The memory care facilities in Webster, Monroe New York, the same way as the other senior living sector, have shifted further away from institutional one-size-fits-all strategy to healthcare. In its place, they have tried to adopt the so called ‘person centered care’, and as such adapt every single element concerning the care to the individual being cared for instead of trying to make individuals suffering from dementia fit in the preconceived values. In other words, it implies moving with the flow instead of attempting to force the river to flow uphill. I recently interacted with one the senior executives in one of the family-owned chain of memory care facilities in Webster, Monroe New York. He related a perfect, real-life encounter of the person centered strategy to handling difficult characters. In his visitation to one of their facilities he remembered passing through a corridor and seeing a resident who completely refused to get dressed. As expected, the situation would have turned into battle of wills or tantrums. But in this case it was wholly different: the caregiver in the place started singing one of the resident’s best hymns, and surprisingly enough he speedily calmed down and accepted to put on some clothes. “You will witness such scenarios in our facilities on a daily basis,” the senior executive said.
The great life is said to be in the moments and entails offering and getting kindness, and only a few careful memory care facilities cannot take away this kind of great life. They see to it that the patients’ benefits are extended past the moment even if their own memory does not. Study has proven that endorphins released whenever an individual is experiencing something pleasant often have salutary impact on an individual with memory loss even after they have forgotten the experience. The person centered strategy of care expects those giving care to have a very comprehensive knowledge of the person they are caring for. The story that the senior executive told might have not occurred if the said caregiver had no information about the resident. We find out that the caregiver already had the information that the resident loved to be sang for some special song that makes her calm down. Offering to sing to the resident his favorite song was a pure show of intimacy and kindness. A little but pretty gesture that brought about connection with the resident is definitely the right way.