United Methodist Homes’ mission and values focus on the importance of providing a continuum of services that support health, independence and dignity.
As we looked at the health care services available on the Wesley Village campus, it became clear that we needed to add an important piece; specialized dementia care in an assisted living setting. This opportunity and the pursuit of expanding our care became a focus of our strategic planning.
Currently in the United States, the need for dementia care increases every year. There are five million people with dementia and that number is expected to triple in twenty years! In our assisted living communities, one out of three inquiries is for dementia care.
A New Initiative…
Working with the support of our Board of Directors, our senior management team began to explore the current best practices in the area of dementia care. Utilizing resources from the Connecticut Alzheimer’s Association, our physician networks and respected colleagues around the state, a plan for dementia care was formulated. The result is a new and exciting initiative, Lifestyle Transitions, which will be located in the Northwest Wing of Wesley Heights. This program is designed to support residents with cognitive impairment who live in this area by engaging them in life and activities within the larger Wesley Heights community and providing encouragement, friendship, and a feeling of security, while developing daily routines that focus on successfully managing individualized physical, social and cognitive challenges.
This program is unique in that personalized and purposeful activities will be offered for Lifestyle Transitions residents in their neighborhood as well as in the larger community. The entire Wesley Heights building will be equipped with a Wander-Guard system and the Lifestyle Transitions neighborhood will be secured in the evening and over-night hours, for added peace of mind. Routine safety checks will be carried out by consistent caregivers who will be familiar with the habits and needs of our residents. Individuals or couples can receive the assistance and memory support they need through a personalized package of care services provided by our dedicated nursing staff that understand our mission and live our values.
The Lifestyle Transitions program space in the Northwest Wing will encompass existing apartments and newly designed and renovated common areas, including a library, family-style kitchen, living room area, laundry room, and enclosed outdoor courtyard. These cozy, home-like gathering areas will provide safe and quiet space for reading, relaxation, and dining, and other stimulating activities such as baking, gardening, exercise, art classes, musical entertainment and more. Keeping the needs of our residents in mind, a dementia consultant was hired to guide the process of choosing colors, textures, appropriate lighting, furniture, and the overall organization of these therapeutic spaces.
Renovations to this Northwest Wing have begun already, which means that exciting changes will be coming to our Wesley Village Campus in the very near future. While the project will be taking place in the coming weeks, deposits are being accepted for apartments in the Lifestyle Transitions program even now.
We believe that by offering this new program we are being responsible stewards of United Methodist Homes’ mission. Just as our predecessors thoughtfully and intentionally planned for our future, we too now feel that by adding this new program to our continuum of care, we are providing the services that our residents need today in order to experience a safe, meaningful and healthy life.
About Marissa Salvesen
My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.