Memory Care America - July/August 2020

Memory Care Moments


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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


O ne of our biggest beliefs at Memory Care of Simpsonville is that despite having a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's, our residents still have the ability

engaged, building relationships with friends and family, and getting outside of their comfort zone are powerful tools for aging seniors.

to function no matter where they are on their journey. Here we focus on those abilities by incorporating

This year’s COVID-19 pandemic has challenged how we do this, but it hasn’t lessened the need for

meaningful activities to allow them to feel loved, to reminisce about their day, and to continue discovering their purpose and passions. I have been the Director of Life Enrichment at Memory Care of

enrichment and activities. If anything, it has required more from our department. So, we’re doing all we can to protect our residents while still incorporating fun activities into their day. To start, rather than hosting large groups, we limit our sessions to two to

four residents, spread out 6 feet apart, and have begun offering one-on-one time. We send photos to our residents’ families, because we know just how much they love to see

Simpsonville since August 2019, and I continue to grow more passionate about my job each day. We do daily exercises, work on puzzles, reminisce, and play games. Our residents also love to create art, whether that’s through music, dance, or painting and drawing. I believe art therapy can be powerful for healing, and I have seen the benefit of this for our residents. But it’s not just the fun activities that I enjoy about my job. I love hearing my residents’ stories and learning more about what they are passionate about. I enjoy introducing activities that are going to challenge their mind while also being fun and exciting for them. The activities I plan are geared toward individual preferences and social interaction, which can be big factors in the quality of life for older adults. Staying

their smiles, too!

Additionally, my team and I have been focusing on mindfulness for our residents. We do yoga sessions, and we’ve learned to meditate. I’ve also been working with a counselor to help our residents process the world we live in today. Many of them watch the news, and the added layer of dementia can complicate how they process what’s happening. I believe this counseling is more needed than ever, and I’ve seen just how important it is to our residents at this time.

Meeting individually with the residents has actually been a blessing in disguise, as I’ve

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If you’ve reached a point in your life where you’ve started to downsize, then you’ve likely grappled with the difficult task of getting rid of photos. After decades of life, how are you supposed to choose which memories are important enough to keep and which aren’t? These four rules can help make this daunting task easier. Rule No. 1: Cut Scenic Views You don’t need dozens of photos of that campsite you went to on vacation one summer. If a location was really meaningful, like the beach at your honeymoon, then keep a few, but pictures of the places you’ve been to are far less special than pictures of the people you love. Rule No. 2: Tell a Story When you look at a photo, does it make you want to tell a story about the people or places in the image? Could you share plenty of stories about riding around in Dad’s old truck or about how funny your best friend from college was? Keep those photos. Pictures of people whose names you can’t remember or blurry photos you can’t make out can all go. Rule No. 3: Edit Well If you have a lot of photos from a specific event or part of your life, think about how long each “chapter” of your life story would be. How much time would you spend writing about your cousin’s wedding or high school prom? If a certain event didn’t have that much meaning in your life, why dedicate pages and pages of a photo album to it? Rule No. 4: Throw Photos Away If a photo isn’t important enough to put in an album or frame on the wall, then it doesn’t need to stick around. Don’t put them in a box you’ll have to sort through later. Let the rejects go. After all that hard work, treat yourself to a photo album shopping spree so you can start organizing the meaningful photos you have left. FEEL BAD ABOUT THROWING AWAY PHOTOS? 4 Rules for Guilt-Free Photo Downsizing

Sharing Your Stories

Bessie Pitt Finds a New Home in the Ashes of an Old One

Brenda Nabors believes she is blessed that her mother-in-law is Bessie Pitt — or “the old Bess,” as the family lovingly calls her. Brenda married Bessie’s only child, Allen.

“She was the mother-in-law that everybody wishes that they had,”

Brenda recalls, saying that she never felt anything but acceptance from Bessie. “You wanted to be at her house.” Bessie had many friends, was frequently involved in her church, and helped her husband run the business they started together. Brenda explained that Bessie and her husband, Bill Pitt, were soul mates who were married for nearly four

decades. After Bill’s death in 2000, Bessie continued to remain active and involved in her grandchildren’s lives, attending their ballet recitals and other important events. (Today, Bessie also has two great-grandchildren and a third on the way!) In 2009, the family noticed Bessie was keeping secrets, including the early stages of a brain disorder. Bessie was eventually diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), which deteriorates the body more rapidly than Alzheimer’s disease. As Allen describes it, it’s like having Parkinson’s disease without the tremors. Bessie’s family moved her to a different senior living facility for additional care, but after the community caught fire, Bessie was among the dozen displaced residents in the facility’s memory care unit. (Readers may remember from a previous edition that our Memory Care of New Braunfels community welcomed the new residents.) For her family, the fire became a blessing in disguise because it led them to a community they now call home.“We really fell in love with the staff,” Brenda says. “We knew they were doing a genuine job for my mother-in-law and all the residents there from the other home.” Since the pandemic has eliminated the possibility of daily visits for Brenda and Allen, Brenda says she has appreciated the efforts of staff to keep her connected to her mother-in-law. She and Allen often receive photos of Bessie, and the couple attended the community’s parking lot parade. They enjoyed seeing Bessie’s smile, even if it was just for a few minutes. Seeing that smile, from the mother and grandmother who has done so much for her family, friends, and community throughout her life, was just what Allen and Brenda needed to know Bessie is in good hands. If you know of a family who could benefit from our services, don’t keep our work a secret! Referrals are the best compliment you can give us. Direct them to, or find us on Facebook.


Do Not Keep Our Work a Secret!

Celebrating Superheroes! Dads and Nursing Assistants Honored Throughout Memory Care America

From parents to medical professionals, we have many special people at Memory Care America, and this June, we honored them!

Team members at Memory Care of Westover Hills created “life stations” for serenity and engagement while stimulating memories. Dads were also honored with Father’s Day festivities across our communities, including a special meal at Memory Care of New Braunfels !

All of our communities also celebrated National Nursing Assistants Week, as pictured with Kenyatta at Memory Care of Little Rock and Denise at Memory Care of

Simpsonville . At Memory Care of Naples , our Director of Resident Services, Rebecca, was certified by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners.

Memory Care of Little Rock and Memory Care of Simpsonville nurses Kenyatta and Denise are among the nursing assistants we honored this June.

We’re so grateful for our caring, compassionate team and our residents!

Memory Care of Naples Director of Resident Services, Rebecca, receives a prestigious certification.

Don’t keep our work a secret! Referrals are the best compliment you can give us. Direct others to or find us on Facebook.

Memory Care of New Braunfels Dads are honored at a special meal!

The Memory Care of Westover Hills team creates a “gentlemen’s cave” as part of the “life stations” program.

... continued from Cover

learned that some of our residents thrive in that more intimate setting. As things return to normal, I hope to continue offering these opportunities. It has been my pleasure to be placed in this position. I love being a leader and making a difference using the tips and tricks I've learned along the way in this journey with your loved ones.

P.S. If you’d like help or if you know someone who could use help with life enrichment for their loved one with a dementia diagnosis, give Memory Care America a call!




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Do Not Keep Our Work a Secret!



2211 NW M ilitary H wy ., S te . 201 S an A ntonio , TX 78213 Inside 1 How We Help Those With Dementia Enjoy Happy, Active Lives 2 4 Steps to Finally Sort Through Old Photos 2 Bessie Pitt and Her Family Stay Connected at Memory Care of New Braunfels 3 Memory Care America Recognizes Dads and Nursing Assistants 3 Word Search 4 What to Do With All Those Boxes


Memory Care Wellness


4 Ways to Reuse Instead of Recycle

A s more people opt for online shopping, the number of home deliveries is skyrocketing. Almost every item ordered comes in its own cardboard box, and nearly 20% of these boxes end up in landfills, while the other 80% require significant amounts of energy to recycle. Here are four ways to reuse those boxes instead of just tossing them out. Garden Bed Starters Because cardboard boxes are loaded with carbon and not contaminated by many other chemicals, they’re great for starting new plants or flower beds. They help reduce weeds and protect weak or young plants from the elements, and when the carbon in cardboard combines with the nitrogen in the dirt, a nutrient-rich soil emerges for plants to flourish in.

Compost Clean corrugated cardboard — what most Amazon boxes are made of — is another great source of useful carbon. Cut your boxes into pieces and place them in your compost pile so the carbon combines with the nitrogen from food scraps. The process helps break the pile down into nutrient-rich humus for healthy soil. Toys or Art Supplies Kids tend to play with the box their new toy came in rather than the toy itself for a reason. Cardboard boxes spark creativity, and the possibilities are endless! Boxes can be used as forts, spaceships, building blocks, art canvases, and more. Empty boxes can provide hours of fun with a little help from a vivid imagination. Storage Boxes are meant for holding items, so use empty ones to organize a cluttered garage or attic or safely store

less frequently used items like winter jackets or holiday decorations. If the brown cardboard aesthetic on a shelf just won’t cut it, paint the boxes or wrap them in eye-catching gift wrap, then label them. If you’re not sure how you want to use your boxes, just hold on to them until you’re ready. The beauty of cardboard is that you can break it down, store it easily, and reconstruct the boxes later when you find a use for them.


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