Memory Care America - January/February 2021

Memory Care Moments

VOL. I, 2021

1.833.MEM.CARE • 833.636.2273

Our Communities Memory Care of Naples 2626 Goodlette Frank Road Naples, FL 34103 239.403.0826 Memory Care of Little Rock 2501 Aldersgate Road Little Rock, AR 72205 501.260.7407 Memory Care of Westover Hills 10910 Town Center Drive San Antonio, TX 78251 210.802.6653 Memory Care of Simpsonville 645 Scuffletown Rd. Simpsonville, SC 29681 864.962.3038 Memory Care of New Braunfels 2022 State HWY 46 W New Braunfels, TX 78132 830.420.5882


E veryone has a special connection to the holidays. We all grow up with memories of Christmas morning or spending every Fourth of July watching fireworks. These moments are etched into our minds forever, even if dementia takes away our ability to fully comprehend those memories or celebrations.

Yet, if anyone understands what it feels like to not be with their families during the holidays, it’s health care workers. Our careers and lives can result in missed holidays and delayed celebrations. It’s disappointing and difficult sometimes, but these experiences mean we also know how to make the most out of any holiday — regardless of the situation.

The common thread of how each of us celebrates is love. It moves us to gather with others and continue our favorite traditions. As a Baptist, I like to think of 1 Corinthians 13:13, which reads, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Regardless of your religious background, those of us who work in memory care know that love is a powerful component of care.

My staff members here at Memory Care of Westover

Hills are compassionate and dedicated, but this holiday season, I saw them be even more empathetic to residents and their families, who were

missing each other a little extra. Even though we could not invite our residents’ families to join us for a holiday dinner, we still made sure our residents celebrated the holidays. We decorated our community

That’s why we have made a commitment to continue celebrating these holidays and events with our residents — whether it’s for the big holidays, like Christmas or the smaller, quirky ones, like National Ice Cream Day — even if COVID-19 has made this more difficult. In the past, we have invited our residents’ families to join us for special luncheons and dinners, to dance with us during music hours, and to join us outside for barbecues and parties. We can’t do that anymore, and it’s difficult for both our residents and their families. Our residents struggle to understand why we have to take precautions, while our families just want to spend time with their loved ones.

with festive lights and decor, and then we all came together for a Christmas meal. We even snapped photos of our residents donning their holiday best and sent the cards off to their loved ones. It was our way of trying to provide some normalcy throughout the holiday celebrations, both for our residents and for their families. We already can’t wait to host more celebrations, even if we have to keep families at a distance. Up next is our Valentine’s Day Ball, which will be complete with dancing and the crowning of our king and queen!

It’s our honor to do this for our residents, and as Executive Director of this community, I’ve seen just

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The Stone Family Finds Safety and Peace at Memory Care of Naples

Prior to finding Memory Care of Naples, Heather Stone had only one way to describe the past five years of her mother’s dementia diagnosis. “It’s been five years of hell … pure hell,” Heather explains. “Dealing with dementia and trying to get help for a patient is hell.” Heather’s mom, Sunny Stone, was diagnosed with dementia more than half a decade ago, and to add to the difficulty, Sunny became aggressive. This is common for those with dementia because they are more prone to becoming physically, mentally, and emotionally uncomfortable and can lash out in anger. It wasn’t always this way for Sunny. Growing up near Chicago, Sunny attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and originally worked in real estate. But Sunny wanted to help others and make a difference. So, she went on to teach fourth grade in Chicago’s inner- city schools. After they retired, Sunny and her husband moved to Springfield, Illinois, where they would spend lazy, laughter-filled days on Lake Springfield with their grandchildren.

Heather, who lives across the country from her mother, tried a multitude of options for her mom’s care, such as independent senior living and assisted living centers. Time and time again, Sunny would be asked to leave due to aggressive behavior, leaving Heather scrambling to get care for her mother.

Sunny Stone and her husband spent many of their retirement days on the lake with their grandchildren.

Heather lived in a constant state of fear for her mom.

care for her. After recovering, Sunny was sent home. A few days later, Sunny was found on the floor, still in her robe from the hospital, without food or her medication, clinging to life — again. Finally, Heather found Memory Care of Naples. The community agreed to house Sunny and help the Stone family out of this endless loop. Heather’s daughter, who lives in Florida, frequently checks in on her grandma and reports back to her mom that Sunny is doing much better and loves the food. Best of all, Heather says, she knows her mom is safe. “She’s been really good,” Heather says. “She says once in a while that she’s going to leave and go back to her condo, and they keep redirecting her. She’s made some friends here, and it’s just funny because they’re just very good. She seems happy there.” Don’t keep our work a secret; referrals are the best compliment you can give us! If you would like to be featured in our newsletter or if you know a family that could benefit from our services, please call 833.MEM.CARE (636.2273) or visit

With seemingly no other options, Heather tried to let Sunny live on her own. After Sunny had a particularly bad fall, Heather was told that her mother was close to death, but Heather wasn’t provided with any options or help in finding additional


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Memory Care Roundup

Throughout our Memory Care America communities in Little Rock, Naples, New Braunfels, Simpsonville, and Westover Hills, our dedicated team members create wonderful celebrations for our residents!

Word Search

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how committed we and the rest of the staff members in our Memory Care America communities are to ensuring that the lives of the residents we care for are full and happy. We give selflessly every single day, and on the holidays, we give a little more. It’s not always easy, but we didn’t go into health care for the pay! Everything we do for our residents, whether it’s regular care or enjoying a holiday feast together, we do because we have compassion for them. If there’s anything you get from this cover, know that we are continuing to love your family members throughout every holiday and celebration you have to miss due to the pandemic. They are not alone, and they are loved.



–Tawana McDaniel LPN, Executive Director of Memory Care of Westover Hills

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Inside 1 Making Holidays Special! 2 After an Exhausting Journey, the Stone Family Finds Serenity at Memory Care of Naples 3 Memory Care Photo Roundup 3 Word Search 4 Is Dark Chocolate Really Good for Your Heart?


A s you give and get chocolate for Valentine’s Day (or jump on post-holiday chocolate sales), you’ll probably hear that dark chocolate is healthy for you. Before you decide to incorporate dark chocolate into your daily diet, you should ask yourself what that means. Can dark chocolate really be “healthy”? Studies on dark chocolate’s supposed benefits focus on compounds found within cocoa, specifically flavanols, which are found in most fruits and vegetables (and cocoa!) and help lower blood pressure and reduce low-density lipoproteins, aka “bad” cholesterol.

advantage of those benefits is not as simple as just eating dark chocolate. Each bar will include a percentage, which indicates the amount of cocoa. The higher the percentage, the better; 70%–80% is considered the sweet spot in terms of balancing health benefits and flavor, but as the percentage of cocoa increases, the more bitter the chocolate becomes. However, the amount of flavanols found in a typical 1-ounce piece of 80% dark chocolate is very small. Alice H. Lichtenstein, a Gershoff professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University in Boston, says, “Dark chocolate has more flavanols than other types of chocolate; the data to suggest there is enough to have a health effect is thin at this point.”

A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association that focused on dark chocolate, cocoa, and raw almonds also concluded that the heart benefits were small. Dark chocolate appeared most effective when paired with other heart-healthy foods, such as almonds. So what about other types of chocolate, like milk or semi-sweet? Once the cocoa content falls below 60%, the benefits disappear entirely. The flavanol levels are too low and the sugar and fat content too high, which negates any heart health benefits. As with all good things, moderation is key. Eating too much dark chocolate has the reverse effect and can cause inflammation, and inflammation is the enemy of the heart.

By that notion, dark chocolate does have heart health benefits, but taking


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