Memory Care America - September 2020

Memory Care of Westover Hills Installs Life Stations for Resident Comfort Their Reality

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to burn fat, build muscle, and give yourself a better chance at a longer, healthier life. HIIT workouts are characterized by brief periods (30 seconds to a few minutes) of high-intensity exercise, followed by periods of low- or moderate-intensity exercise. However, what makes these workouts truly remarkable is just how much they can benefit people in every age group. According to Mayo Clinic research, HIIT workouts provide unique benefits to the body on a cellular level. The brief, vigorous exercises actually increase your metabolism and improve the health of mitochondria, the powerhouses that create energy within the cells. By energizing your cells, you can actually reverse the decline in muscle health that occurs as people age. Energizing cells through HIIT benefits everyone, but these workouts can be of particular benefit to those over age 65. Seniors experience diminishing returns on energy produced by their bodies at a cellular level, and HIIT has been shown to reverse that process even in advanced age. HIIT workouts also have many other advantages for people of all ages. The exercises don’t necessarily require any equipment, and you can even see results from adding high-intensity intervals to daily walks. Those with health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, can still participate in HIIT. In fact, Healthline reports that HIIT workouts can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar. However, the biggest draw to HIIT exercises is just how much of a timesaver they are. A few minutes of high-intensity movement can be just as beneficial as roughly 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. You can incorporate HIIT exercises into whatever activities you enjoy, such as walking, cardio exercises, and strength training. If you’re affected by weak joints, you can incorporate HIIT into lower impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling. If you want to feel energized while doing the things you love, then HIIT just might be something you want to try. Just remember to keep a steady pace and don’t overdo it! DOWHAT YOU LOVE AND KEEP YOUR BODY MOVING How HIIT Benefits People of All Ages

If you were to walk the halls of Memory Care of Westover Hills, you might see a mom reliving the moments of her child’s infancy or a man working with tools. For the residents of Memory Care of Westover Hills, these brief moments in the community’s Life Stations are a viable way for them to live in their own reality without anxiety, fear, or confusion. “When a resident has Alzheimer’s or dementia, they revert back to their younger days,” Executive Director Tawana McDaniel explains. “We started doing these stations right when the pandemic hit because we couldn’t take them to the activity room … This is an added activity, especially during a time when they are missing their families.”

The community has three stations built into its seating areas and has plans to add more environments. The first station is a nursery, complete with a crib, baby dolls, and strollers.

Residents who believe their child is an infant can relive these precious moments, and others who simply love kids have found peace sitting in the nursery.

For those who are higher functioning and like to work with their hands, the community has created a garage station, complete with safe tools and music. Those who like crafts can escape into their work while exercising their brains and memory. Finally, the last station is a music area. It includes a piano and an antique record player. The music station is especially powerful, Tawana says, because music can be therapeutic for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Studies have found that even the lowest-functioning dementia patients can sing along or hum to songs they first heard years earlier. “It never ceases to amaze us when we walk by these stations, and we actually see the residents making use of the space and enjoying the space,” Tawana says. “It fills you with joy to see. You know that this right here is really helping them get through this.” The community plans to create more stations, Tawana added, including an aromatherapy section. The addition of a new station and the success of the previous three are due, in no small part, to the dedication to resident care Tawana believes her entire team encompasses. “I am just blessed to have an amazing team at Memory Care of Westover Hills,” Tawana says. “We came together and came up with ideas. We all work together as a team to make it a reality.”

For the residents of Memory Care of Westover Hills, the stations offer a way to relive happy memories and engage in meaningful activities.

If you know of a family who could benefit from our services, like our Life Stations, don’t keep our work a secret! Referrals are the best compliment you can give us. Direct them to or find us on Facebook.


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