The Vineyards Memory Care


The Vineyards Memory Care

Posted on

Sep 01, 2019


Colorado - Western Slope

Long time Grand Junction resident, Opal Jaquette, is a mom to scores of people around the world. Through her generous spirit, Opal remembered everyones special occasions, making her legendary and treasured by all.
Opal, with her husband Frank and their two children Mark and Julie, moved to Guam in 1967. Both Frank and Opal worked as teachers on Guam for over twenty years. Despite Franks passing 12 years ago, Opal continued to travel to the warmer Guam climate each winter to be with close friends. This past winter however, she stayed home; she tried to keep up with normal household duties, but Opal started having some difficulties.

In March, Julie and Mark both returned to Grand Junction to stay with her after family members and church friends noticed signs of increasing dementia. The next two months proved challenging but very providential! Looking back at the month of April, it was only providence that helped the three of them get Opals finances in order. By May, Opals vascular dementia had escalated quickly, and she was hospitalized three weeks in order to stabilize her condition.
When she couldnt return to her home, and needed a dementia center, Mark and Julie felt she would like a smaller, more home-like atmosphere with close, immediate, personal care. Walking into The Vineyards, they knew it was the perfect place to be moms new home. Thus far, Opal has truly enjoyed her independence, coupled with the attentive care at The Vineyards. She told her family, I feel like Ive fallen into a tub of butter here!

The Vineyards is a community of love and support that includes caregivers, residents, and family. Dedication and service are at the heart of The Vineyards mission. At the Vineyards we feel it is important to be there not only for the resident but for the families as well. We understand the responsibility of caring for mom or dad at home and losing that parent child relationship. As the caregiver of an aging parent, the responsibility of ordering medications, managing those medications and multiple other responsibilities you lose that personal relationship with your loved one. At the Vineyards we take those responsibilities off the child and let you experience the Parent-child relationship again, creating new memories with our parents and enjoying the golden years with them The Vineyards Memory Care of Grand Junction serves those living with Alzheimers, Dementia and other diagnoses of memory loss. Your loved ones happiness is important to us. If you have a loved one in need of care, call the Vineyards Memory Care at 970-243-7224 or visit on-line at 

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Jaime Fisher. She may be reached at 970-243-7224 or by email at:

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Visits to Memory Care

While many people focus on holiday visits, your loved one in assisted living or memory care should enjoy spending time with their family and friends all year round. No one wants to feel alone or forgotten. Visiting a senior loved one who resides in memory care can be complicated, however especially when mental and cognitive challenges are resulting in unpredictable behavior. These visitations, while often difficult, are an important part of taking care of someone with memory loss or dementia. In this article, we help families prepare for and enjoy their memory care visits, providing concrete advice for those who fear that dementia is harming their relationship.Advice for Dementia Care Patient VisitsDevelop Empathy for Their ExperienceWhen a family member experiencing dementia begins to act out with aggression, it is usually related to their medical diagnosis. Dementia can adversely impact behavior, mood, and sense of reality, often causing anger or fear. Loved ones should not consider these episodes as personal attacks instead, illogical reactions are likely symptoms of their declining brain function. By understanding that these reactions are associated with the disease, family members can set their expectations before visiting, and prepare to respond with compassion. Educating oneself about the progression of dementia helps to provide valuable insight into what they are experiencing.Expect a Range of Emotions Preparing mentally for memory care visits can positively impact those interactions with your loved one that you dread. Some days will be better than others, that is an undeniable fact. On a good day, your loved one may be smiling and loving. On a difficult day, however, they may be so confused that they do not even recognize their loved ones. Before visits, mentally prepare for all possibilities.Establish a Familiar and Comforting RoutineCreating a routine can provide much-needed calm in the storm that a dementia patient finds themselves in. Begin with a familiar greeting and develop a consistent routine for your visits. Whether sharing photos, strolling through the garden, or watching reruns of an old TV show, familiar routines can significantly reduce anxiety and offer a sense of shared interests. If you notice a positive reaction to a specific word, action, or activity, be sure to use it often.Integrate Compassion into Your Conversations Effective communication with a family member with dementia requires patience. Approach each conversation with a calm, measured tone, using clear and easy-to-understand language. If they cant find the right words or become frustrated,  dont correct them, just smile and continue the conversation. Non-verbal actions like a gentle hand on the shoulder can communicate affection when words are difficult.Manage Challenging Moments Its important to stay calm if the situation becomes too challenging, as arguing or fighting can escalate fear and anxiety for your loved one. Try to gently change the focus of the conversation, or introduce a more soothing activity. If your family members become overly agitated, acknowledge their emotions and provide them with some space. The personnel at the memory care community are invaluable partners in these situations, as they have the required experience and knowledge required to address their needs and behaviors. Remember, the objective is always to establish a feeling of safety and support, even during visits.My Care Finders helps families find the right assisted living or memory care facility for their loved ones needs and requirements. Call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and assess your needs. Our professional team is trained to work with families of those with dementia, and we are prepared to help you and your family cultivate and maintain loving relationships.

What Is Memory Care and Where to Find It?

Usually found within assisted living facilities and nursing homes, memory care offers specialized services for people with Alzheimers and dementia. Demand for this type of care is rising even though the cost can be prohibitive. But many find that their loved ones are better able to get the care they need in facilities that specialize in providing expert care to those in various levels of cognitive decline.If you are considering memory care for your loved one, its worth considering what these facilities offer as you weigh the associated costs. Learn about assisted living and nursing home facilities that expertly meet the needs of people with Alzheimers and dementia.Article | Dementia Diagnosis: First Steps for CaregiversWhat Is Memory Care?According to the National Council on Aging, a memory care unit or facility provides specialized residential care for people living with Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia.Some memory care facilities are stand-alone while others are part of a larger senior living community. The latter can mean that memory care patients are integrated into a larger facility to varying degrees. Often, the stand-alone facility or a memory care wing in a larger community is secured with locked doors to keep wandering residents safe.Either way, whether stand-alone or integrated, research shows memory care results in better patient outcomes for patients in cognitive decline. According to the National Institute on Aging, when over 90% of patients in a nursing home have dementia, they receive better care. When a smaller proportion are in significant cognitive decline, care suffers.This suggests that focus and specialization is key to memory care success.Is Memory Care Different in Assisted Living VS Nursing Homes?Both of these facilities can offer memory care. The main difference is that your loved one will have more help with daily activities and more medical care in a nursing home. Memory care units, whether stand-alone or integrated as wings in a larger community offer round-the-clock supervision and care. About 14% of assisted living communities offer memory care units.Assisted living is best for seniors who are more independent and with fewer medical needs. They offer help with activities like bathing, dressing, and cooking. Residents have their own apartments or rooms and share common areas and dining rooms. Assisted living communities also offer meal and laundry services, medication management, and recreational activities. All of these things can be enjoyed by residents with more physical and cognitive independence.You can consult with individual facilities to determine their specific level of care and what assistance is offered.But in either case, facilities that offer memory care would provide the same basic features:Secured unitsConsistent caregivers who establish relationshipsActivities and stimulation to aid in cognition and memoryHow Expensive Is Memory Care?As you probably expected, memory care costs more than typical nursing home care. Its a heightened level of expertise that demands a higher cost. But you may have some options to assist in paying for it.If your loved one qualifies for Medicaid, its possible some dementia care costs could be covered.Medicare doesnt usually cover long-term care in a nursing home, because the care is associated more with daily activities than medical treatment.Medicare Special Needs Plans may offer benefits for people with dementia.You can compare memory care facilities using a state-by-state list compiled by Youll notice a range from as low as $3,233 to as high as $5,642.Memory care costs typically vary based on:LocationType of apartmentSize of apartmentOffered servicesAmenitiesLevel of care requiredBefore making your final decision, consider all the possible financial assistance that could be available to you.What to Expect from Staff in Memory Care FacilitiesRecommended ratios of staff to patients vary between states. But adequate staffing is critical for good memory care as each patient requires proper attention. Therefore, an ideal ratio is about 1 staff to 6 patients. Staff usually include caregivers, nurses, therapists, housekeepers, activities directors, and hospitality staff.Signs of an inadequate facility:Strong smells: Whether good or bad, strong smells often indicate poor housekeeping or not enough housekeeping staff. Bad smells are an obvious indication, but watch out for strong good smells too. Facilities sometimes use strong air fresheners to mask odors.Constant television: If the TV is always on or residents spend a majority of their time watching it, it could mean the activities program at the facility is weak. They should have a schedule that includes many engaging activities. Television contributes to cognitive decline and should only be watched for a small portion of the day.Unhappy, distracted caregivers: Relationships are crucial for memory care. Instead, look for a facility with caregivers that primarily show love and respect to residents and families. This is a sign of a great facilityMemory care facility evaluation questions:Is the staff positive and respectful when communicating?Does the staff treat residents like adults, offering them privacy and dignity?Is the staff skilled at redirection, shifting residents attention in a way that keeps anxiety or anger at a minimum?Nighttime Memory CareProfessional memory care staff should be equipped to handle a common dementia struggle called sundowning. This is the term used to describe dementia symptoms like behavior disturbances and confusion that peak in evening and night hours.Facilities who are prepared to care for patients with sundowning usually incorporate:Natural light for living spaces during daytime hoursSunrooms or sun lampsBlackout blinds at nighttime and nightlights with dim or muted lightMemory care staff should receive special training in how to help patients with sundowning syndrome.Sensory Stimulation Therapy for Memory CareA memory care facility understands that engaging residents often requires reaching them through their senses. This means that activities often incorporate the senses in ways that help both explore (stimulate) and relax. Stress and anxiety can trigger dementia patients and make their symptoms worse.One type of sensory therapy called Snoezelen, combines exploration with relaxation. Its a popular type of therapy for memory care patients. Its multisensory, providing an experience that involves light, sound, smell, and touch therapy.Usually, a facility will have a room dedicated to sensory stimulation therapy where residents can go as designated or as needed. Some example therapies included:ScrapbookingMusic and brain gamesExercise programs (walking, gardening, chair yoga)Spiritual activities (meditation, singing, reflective nature walks)Lifeskill activities like cookingAll of these activities combine sensory stimulation with relaxing activities that benefit and sooth dementia patients.When Is It Time for a Memory Care Facility?Just because your loved one has dementia doesnt mean you must be moved to a memory care facility. Safety is the biggest reason families move their loved ones into a memory care unit. There may come a time when a dementia patient needs to be protected from falls and from the dangers of wandering in confusion.Perhaps you're wondering if your loved one is in the early stages of dementia. How do you identify it? Here are some common signs other than memory impairment:CombativenessAggressionLoss of interest in activitiesIncontinencePoor hygieneSudden fallsWandering, getting lostSleep changesRepeating stories within minutesMobility issuesThe memory care facility typically performs an assessment of physical, medical, and cognitive abilities before a patient is moved into their facility. This helps ensure the right level of care.You might also consider a memory care facility if your loved one is struggling to remain social, active, or engaged. You might notice their quality of life declining, especially if they live alone. In these cases, it might be time to consider a memory care facility to keep them active, social, and engaged in ways that will slow cognitive decline and improve their overall well-being.Transitioning to Memory CareIts important to be sure a change is needed. Moving your loved one with dementia away from their daily routine or existing community can be very disruptive to their life. This can be very taxing and temporarily increase dementia symptoms. This is especially true if there are people in their existing environment that they are very attached to, like a friend, therapist, or caregiver. Additionally, there is a greater risk of sudden falls and confused wandering when in an unfamiliar place.Transitions are temporary, and there are ways to ensure it goes more smoothly. The key is verifying the change is necessary at that time.Individualized NeedsDementia care needs differ according to the patient, which means youll need to pinpoint the specific cares of your loved one and match them with a facility. 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What to Do When a Loved One Refuses to Recognize Health Concerns

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The Vineyards Memory Care

Memory Care 1530 Walnut Avenue, Grand Junction, Colorado, 81501

The Vineyards Memory Care of Grand Junction is unique in the realm of assisted living. What we offer is an intimate, home-like setting where everyone is known by name and there is a spirit of family throughout. The Vineyards is a special place where the atmosphere is calm and inviting, the staff warm and helpful. Residents enjoy listening to soft music in the common area or a meal in the dining room. Still others work outside in the garden or catch a nap by the fireplace. The caregivers are watchful and attentive. Everyone is where they are supposed to be.