Seasons Ontario Magazine

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Learning to Embrace Today ® A t Seasons, our dedicated team is always looking for new ways to improve the lives of our residents. As the Canadian population ages, experts suggest that an increasing number of seniors and their families will be affected by dementia and Alzheimer's disease. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, over 500,000 are Canadians living with dementia today. They project the number of Canadians living with dementia in 2030 will be 912,000. Seasons responded to this reality by developing a person-centred Memory Care program for seniors living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Our Memory Care areas incorporate bright, open spaces that feel like home and are comfortable for visitors. In our newer residences, we include private outdoor spaces to promote freedom of movement and to ensure nature is close by. Furthermore, we provide engaging tools that encourage conversation for families and staff to connect with residents. This “enabling of the environment” is one branch of our Embrace Today philosophy that promotes wellness and positive interactions for our residents living with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Stephanie Sanborn, Director of Innovation and Education, was instrumental in building the Seasons Memory Care program. “We understand the importance of hiring for heart to build authentic relationships with our residents and their families,” says Stephanie. “We believe that positive relationships among all care partners elevates person-centred care and makes it more meaningful.” The Seasons Memory Care philosophy is based on authentic relationships. Each of our highly-trained service team members MEMORY CARE: THE Seasons WAY

commits to ‘Embrace Today’ which means they approach the workday with a promise to do their best to make all interactions positive and meaningful, one moment at a time. Because of this, Seasons also fosters an unhurried environment, where building genuine friendships with residents and their families is prioritized over daily routine. We strive to understand who our residents are to adjust our interactions and respond with whatever is needed at the time. Additionally, we work with our residents and their loved ones to create a Legacy Today journal. Through this journal, we acknowledge and celebrate moments shared at Seasons, as well as documenting elements of a resident’s life story. When we understand someone’s past accomplishments and interests, for example, it strengthens our connection with them. Life stories shape our care plans, allow us to create “wow moments” that truly matter, and help us empower our residents to continue building their legacy while at Seasons. Collaboration with family members and healthcare professionals allows us to: > Know and understand a resident’s life story to build daily routines around preferences

In Ontario, we have designated memory care areas in Bowmanville, LaSalle, Milton, Amherstburg, Stoney Creek, and Brantford. For Alberta residents, we offer DSL4D (Designated Supportive Living, dementia) in Camrose, High River, and Olds. Since our philosophy is rooted in person-centred care, we are open to growing and expanding our Memory Care platform as emerging science and evidence- based programs emerge. For example, implementing pets into our care programming and hosting virtual reality experiences to promote understanding and compassion between residents, family members, and caregivers. The positive impact of technology: In-house research on the impact of VR training on caregivers. Seasons continues to be open to and seek out partnerships in aging research with academic institutions, their students, and professors across Canada. Through this continued outreach, we look

> Build supportive friendships > Host ‘Living with Dementia’ support gatherings with residents, families and staff > Provide continuing education for staff and family members > Develop meaningful, individualized programs Our activity calendar for residents in Memory Care is flexible, yet progressively balanced to incorporate the elements of the mind and spirit, like brain-enhancing games, exercises and physical activity routines, along with calming meditative programs to promote sleep and happiness daily. For example, our Signature Program "Fire It Up" is based on the research that engaging both the body and the mind in one program encourages neuroplasticity in the brain. In other words, the brain’s ability to change throughout life, which could mean compensating for lost functions or maximizing remaining functions.

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