Sun Health Opens Innovative Memory Support Residence

Grandview senior leaders Penny Jacobs (L) and Bhakti Gosalia show off a front porch in the Grandview Memory Support residence.

Grandview senior leaders Penny Jacobs (L) and Bhakti Gosalia show off a front porch in the Grandview Memory Support residence.

Sun Health recently completed construction on an innovative residence for memory-loss patients called Grandview Memory Support.

“Every detail is designed to help residents feel at home, well-cared for and secure,” Grandview campus Executive Director Bhakti Gosalia said.

The residence features 16 private, studio-size suites built specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Entrances to each suite feature an indoor front porch complete with a picket fence, chairs and flower boxes. Residents and their loved ones can personalize their front porch using familiar and meaningful decorations so it’s easier for the resident to recognize his or her “home.”

The suites and common areas feature extensive use of natural light, secure yet open floor plans, and a décor designed to appeal to the senses. A “sensory room” offers residents a calming place with aromatherapy, music and a ceiling that mimics day and night skies. A centerpiece of the sensory room is a large touch-screen computer called “It’s Never 2 Late.” Adapted especially for individuals with physical and mental impairments, it can be used to play interactive games, watch movies or television, play music and more.

The secure design allows residents to live in a caring home environment, while providing comfort and safety for residents and families.

Services for residents include 24/7 care, an on-site physician and nurse practitioner, fine dining, a secure, outdoor garden, life enrichment activities, a beauty/barber shop, housekeeping and laundry services. Families will be welcome and invited to take part in activities, including support groups.

Grandview Memory Support is expected to have residents move in in November, pending licensing by the Arizona Department of Health.

The architect for the project was the Orcutt-Winslow Partnership, the interior design was developed by Thoma-Holec Design and the general contractor was The Weitz Company.

‘It’s Never 2 Late’ Right on Time at La Loma Care Center

It's Never 2 Late, a computer designed for ease of use has become a big hit at La Loma Care Center.

It’s Never 2 Late, a computer designed for ease of use has become a big hit at La Loma Care Center.

La Loma Care Center is the proud owner of an adaptive computer system called It’s Never 2 Late. The system features user-friendly technologies such as touch-screen monitors and an adaptive keyboard, which allow individuals with cognitive or physical limitations to play games, listen to music, or watch videos. It’s kept on a rolling cart making it easy to move from room to room.

“We’ve been using it since May and have had a very good response from our residents and their families,” Ione Murray, Life Enrichment coordinator, said. “It was exciting to see how interested people were in it right from the start and that they took the initiative to learn how to use it.”

Some of the most popular activities with residents include playing games such as Hearts or Scrabble and watching shows such as “The Andy Griffith Show,” or exercising to yoga videos. “Families are really interested and engaged in it and want to learn the process to be able to use it with their loved ones,” Murray said.

“It’s Never 2 Late appeals to people of all ages and at all levels of computer literacy,” Murray said. “The wide variety of choices means there’s something for everyone, and it can be used in group settings or for single use. It seems like the sky’s the limit and we are so excited to see where it will go.”

Three Most Common Questions About Alzheimer’s & Dementia

CC: Kamalakanta Jena via Wikimedia Commons

CC: Kamalakanta Jena via Wikimedia Commons

Today is the summer solstice – the longest day of the year, but it also marks the Alzheimer’s Association’s national awareness movement celebrating the strength of those facing Alzheimer’s disease.

“On The Longest Day, teams around the world come together to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer’s with a day of activity.

Held on the summer solstice, June 21, 2014, this event calls on participants to raise funds and awareness to advance the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.”  ~ thelongestday.org

If you’d like to join the activities, head over to the Find A Team page to identify which of the 19 Arizona participants might be near you.

In recognition of the awareness day, we spoke to Marty Finley, M.Ed., who manages Sun Health Memory Care Navigator Program - a free service for those in the West Valley struggling to cope with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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