Addressing Alzheimer's disease
Through the modern and brightly lit halls of Wellmore of Daniel Island, seniors and their families walk from room to room, taking in the amenities offered by the retirement community. There’s a modern dining hall, a gym that can cater to those of all fitness levels, and a pool with a ramp for people with mobility issues. But, in the middle of every comfort is a wing called “Reflections.” It is a space dedicated to members of the community suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and is sometimes referred to simply as “Memory Care.” Although the section isn’t isolated from the rest of the building, it understandably gets a different form of attention. “Wellmore embodies the seven dimensions of wellness by customizing care, personalizing physical and social programs for our members,” said Wellmore's Vice President of Programming and Training Aimee Simmons. “All of the certified nursing assistants who work within our Reflections Memory Care are certified dementia practitioners which allows them to give premium care to all they serve.” “We have a fully trained staff of CNAs [certified nursing assistants], medication technicians, and nurses, as well as activity staff to really keep them engaged throughout the day and take care of them,” added Executive Director Ashley Seeds. According to Seeds, Reflections is designed to provide residents with independence, while still being under the watch of professionals. “This is really comfortable for them. They can feel like they are close to their room and they know all the same staff that works with them all the time,” she added. Seeds assured that Wellmore of Daniel Island attempts to customize their treatments differently for each Reflections resident. “We really sit down with the family and the resident when they first move in and we create a custom care plan for each resident,” she said about their methodology for designing a treatment. “We find out what are the things they are able to do independently, and we’re going to encourage them and help them to continue to maintain that level. And then we’ll also identify the things that they do need assistance with.” As anyone who’s watched a loved one suffer through dementia will attest, it’s a crushing experience for family members, and Wellmore tries to cater to them, as well. “It is always important to ensure our families have resources available to support them. At Wellmore of Daniel Island, we offer an Alzheimer’s support group every second Wednesday of the month at 10:30, in addition to providing other support groups in the area,” said Simmons. “We also encourage our families to participate in activities with their loved ones so they can enjoy each visit. This helps the family focus on good memories and not the disease, knowing that their loved one is engaged and happy.” Although Wellmore houses residents without Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is clearly a cause that the facility is passionate about. The retirement home has been a frequent partner and supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This year, they are aiming to raise $5,000 for the walk. “We are seeing a significant increase in the Alzheimer’s population,” said Simmons. “As a care services provider, we have a moral responsibility to raise awareness through numerous channels. Part of this increase in awareness includes fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association, educating families and the community on Alzheimer’s Disease, and staying up to date with key advancements in the research field.” The 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Riverfront Park in North Charleston. Wellmore will host a fundraiser, “Cocktails for a Cause,” on Sept. 6 to reach their $5,000 goal. IF YOU GO Cocktails for a Cause Thursday, Sept. 6, 4 to 7 p.m. Wellmore of Daniel Island, 580 Robert Daniel Dr. Featuring cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and live entertainment. Proceeds will benefit the upcoming Walk for Alzheimer’s on Sept. 15. A $15 donation is requested. To RSVP, call 843-566-1000.