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Memory care connects mind, body, heart

Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor offers a dedicated memory care neighborhood, providing services and compassion for the ever-changing needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia. We provide specialty programs designed to engage the mind and provide purpose, as well as plenty of social opportunities for residents and their loved one.

“Studies show that those people with a broader network of social experience in earlier stages of Alzheimer’s are able to slow down the progression of memory loss more so than those whose network is very small,” said Lori Peters, life enrichment director at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor.

That’s just one of the reasons Lori believes moving into a dedicated memory care neighborhood early can be beneficial to someone facing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

“The process of interacting with others, even when passive, can stimulate a sense of personal worth; a feeling of belonging, rather than isolation. Socialization and routine activities provide a sense of normal structure and order to the life of an individual with memory loss. It helps stimulate that part of the brain that connects us to time and place, rather than experiencing a disconnected continuum with no start and end points. Socialization, when provided in a safe, structured manner, can make a positive difference in the quality of life for those people impaired by dementia,” she said.

In addition to keeping the mind active, physical activity is an important part of the daily routine.

“It is important for individuals with memory loss to stay physically active. The group exercises, balance classes and physically active games that we play help to keep our residents moving and stimulating mind and body connections. We also have music groups that play and sing songs with which our residents are familiar. It is exciting to see some of our residents who may struggle to communicate but can recall lyrics and sing as if they have no impairment at all,” said Lori.

Establishing relationships with our memory care residents and family members is at the heart of what we do.

“As a caregiver, we grow close and build a strong relationship with our residents. We know what they want and need just by their action or what time of the day it is. I have also formed very close relationships with their family members. I feel that they support us, and we support them because both loving one with Alzheimer’s and caring for one with Alzheimer’s is never easy,” said Madison Gage, memory support charge nurse LPN at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor.

We take great pride in offering specialized care and comfort for our memory care residents who need us around-the-clock.

“It takes a very humble, yet adaptable, person to care for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As caregivers, we have to be their calm during the storm. Those living with the disease know that the puzzle pieces in their mind do not match up, which is very scary for them every day. As caregivers, we have to be there every step of the day to guide them, provide consistent assurance that they are safe and instill trust,” said Madison.

Exceptional care is what one daughter of a resident has witnessed her mom receive since she moved to memory care a little over two years ago.

“They do a great job, but it’s not just a job for them. I see that they get close to the people that live here. I see them hug her (mom). They know her, make her feel safe and secure. They’re attentive. I feel secure knowing that she’s going to be taken care of,” said Deena Kendrick, daughter of Frances Pappan, a resident in memory care.

Communication is a big part of the relationship, too.

“They’re very good about notifying me about what’s going on. I’m one of those people that wants to be involved. We have really good communication. And they go above and beyond what they need to do. It says a lot when they come after hours. It brings them (the residents) joy. It is a family atmosphere,” said Debbie Dennett, daughter of Dorothy Jackson, a memory care resident since 2018.

Learn more about memory care in our community. Call 620-506-0130.

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