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Creating Normalcy When “Normal” Is Dementia

August 19, 2020
Categories: COVID-19

Artis Senior Living is known for their unique approach to caring for individuals diagnosed with dementia. Their care team is challenged each day with creating a sense of normalcy—and that was before the pandemic. “Like the rest of the world, our new normal is different,” says their Executive Director. “We pride ourselves in offering an environment that is safe and secure, providing peace of mind to family members and a sense of purpose for residents.”

Daily responsibilities at communities like Artis have changed in recent months. Community associates arrive on the frontlines every day with added safety precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among residents and staff. Associates and residents are being screened with temperature checks several times throughout the day, enhanced sanitation measures are in place and specialized air units targeting bacteria in the air are being used. They’re challenged to be creative with opportunities for residents to engage with family members, to provide stimulating activities for residents and to keep a sense of calm, reducing anxiety within an audience who at times is unable to comprehend the greater pandemic occurring outside of the community.

Artis’s mission includes providing innovative care—and their specially trained team has risen to the challenge. “We have organized spa days for residents, garden projects, window birthday parties and video conference calls,” recalls the Executive Director. Providing family members the opportunity to safely “visit” with their loved ones is important while the community has restricted visitors.

“It is important that we keep the health and well-being of our residents and associates as our highest priority,” says the Executive Director. The staff updates family members regularly through email, social media and phone calls regarding protocols, and includes them in care and testing decisions. “This is home to our residents—we’re close to them and their family members. We are their family. We’re blessed to know and serve them and to help them thrive.”

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