Memory Care America - October 2019

Memory Care Moments


1.833.MEM.CARE • 833.636.2273


Sometimes we forget just how small the world really is, and reminders of that truth can be powerful.

Our Communities Memory Care of Naples 2626 Goodlette Frank Road Naples, FL 34103 239.403.0826

Memory Care of New Braunfels, Westover Hills, and executives within Memory Care America hosted guests from the second-largest health maintenance organization (HMO) in Israel over Labor Day weekend. I organized this event this past spring when I happened to meet an Israeli citizen and banker who expressed his admiration for our work. When he had tallied the number of hours we worked each year — which happens to be all hours of the day, every single day — with our highest cost of residential care, he found that we were charging, at most, $1.40 per hour for care. Nowhere in the U.S. will you find good, wholesome long-term care for that cost. So, the banker connected me with his former military commanding officer, who happened to be the chair for the second-largest HMO in Israel. This for-profit group wanted to create a successful, profitable memory care community while offering great care at costs any family could afford. The opportunity was too big for us to pass up. There is no cure for this terrible, debilitating disease, as many families know, but we can use all our power, expertise, and knowledge to maintain a person’s dignity, help them live an easier life, and make the horror of dementia a little more palatable for their family. But that promise shouldn’t only be for our families in the U.S. Dementia is a global issue that knows no borders, and any time we spend learning from our counterparts for the sake of improving our residents’ lives is time well spent. And our communities offer it. Also, according to this banker, that was something Israel was struggling with, too.

Our Israeli visitors flew 20 hours from Tel Aviv to New York, and then to San Antonio, Texas, this Labor Day weekend to spend a few days with our representatives. We swapped ideas and gave them a tour of Memory Care of New Braunfels and Westover Hills. They were in awe of our community and techniques, including one memorable event in which they saw the way we distributed our medications to residents. The team hosted an authentic Texas BBQ luncheon for our guests, much to their delight and request — the same delicious lunch we serve our residents. Memory Care America COO Linda Carrasco probably put it best when she said, “I think it was a real eye- opener for them to actually be in a community that is 100% dedicated to cognitive disabilities like Alzheimer's and dementia… [We had] aromatherapy in one room with a group of residents, and then in another room, they were actually playing volleyball. You went from one extreme to the other.” I’m proud to say that we also learned a bit too! Israel is one of the more medically advanced countries in the world, and we learned about research being done there on new treatments and care. Of course, it wasn’t all work and no play! Our group shared stories of our various cultures, and the Israeli visitors marveled at the differences from their home

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

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1.833.MEM.CARE • 833.636.2273


Do Not Keep Our Work a Secret!

Eddie O’Brien’s Family Finds Peace of Mind at Memory Care of Naples Sharing Your Stories


When Edward “Eddie” O’Brien was a young man, his father died, leaving Eddie to care of his younger siblings with a limited education backing him up. “He’s really a great brother,” says Eddie’s younger brother, Dan O’Brien. “He would always try to take care of the family.” Eddie later became a firefighter in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a lifelong bachelor who enjoyed his independence and remained close with his family, even when retirement called him to Florida. But for the past decade, Dan says the family noticed their once strong, capable brother deteriorating. “It’s very painful to see that happen and not have the medical experience to recognize the root causes of these changes,” Dan says. “He still sounds like your brother, but he's not in there.”

How to Minimize Age-Inducing Atoms

If you’ve ever picked up a health magazine while waiting at the doctor’s office, then you’re probably familiar with the term “free radicals” — at least enough to know that they get a bad rap from doctors and beauticians alike. But what are they, exactly? According to Live Science, free radicals are atoms with unpaired electrons that have split off from oxygen molecules in the body and started to “scavenge” for other electrons to pair with. That wouldn’t be problematic, except that these atoms tend to damage cells, lipids, proteins, and even DNA along the way, and that destruction has serious consequences. As Live Science puts it, “Free radicals are associated with human disease, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and many others. They also may have a link to aging, which has been defined as a gradual accumulation of free-radical damage.” Unfortunately, it’s impossible to entirely avoid free radicals and the havoc they wreak. The process that forms free radicals, called oxidative stress, can be kick- started by a variety of different substances found in food, water, medicine, and even the air we breathe, according to the Huntington’s Outreach Project for Education at Stanford University. Unsurprisingly, these substances are things already considered unhealthy, like alcohol, exposure to X-rays, ozone, fried food, chemical pesticides, air pollutants, and tobacco smoke. That said, there is one molecule that is stable enough to stand up to and reduce free radicals: the antioxidant. According to a study published by Pharmacognosy Reviews, antioxidants can “donate an electron to a rampaging free radical and neutralize it, thus reducing its ability to damage.” Synthetic antioxidants exist but can sometimes have harmful side effects, so scientists advise protecting yourself by avoiding free radical triggers like alcohol, processed foods, and red meat, and ingesting natural antioxidants in the form of berries, stone fruits, olives, onions, garlic, and green and black teas. Herbs and spices like cinnamon, basil, turmeric, and fenugreek can ratchet up your antioxidant levels too. While it can’t guarantee immortality, the right diet can certainly help you stave off aging and disease, so why not start today?

Later diagnosed with dementia, memory loss, and paranoia, Eddie’s family knew it was time to find him a home where he could live in peace with the protection of care. Since most of the family was snowbirding along the west coast of Florida, Dan says they searched that region with the help of a third-party agency.

The first company the organization pointed to was Memory Care of Naples. “[...] We kind of fell in love with its location. We fell in love with the people,” Dan recalls. “They had a friendly look about them. […] We had a feeling that they really cared about patients.” It was actually Memory Care of Naples’ marketing director, Ellen Reilly, who sold Eddie’s family on this community. “We didn’t really want to leave; she was so good,” Dan says. “She had a really good way about her, and she made it a lot easier for us to have Eddie placed in a facility down there.” During the summer and fall, much of Eddie’s family remains in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. But in the two months that Eddie has been at Memory Care of Naples, Dan says he no longer has to worry about his brother’s well-being and happiness. Ellen even got Eddie involved in a walking program, which Dan believes is one of Eddie’s favorite parts of his new home. “Coming to Memory Care [of Naples], we saw this interaction between the patients and the staff,” Dan says. “They gave them a purpose; they gave them a new family.” You don’t have to keep our work a secret; referrals are the best compliments 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


Do Not Keep Our Work a Secret!

Serving Our Community Memory Care of New Braunfels Accepts Displaced Residents

sure they had a warm bed, felt safe, and had a good night’s rest. We wanted to avoid as much trauma as possible for a smooth transition.

On a Monday night in early August, I was just settling into bed when my phone rang. As the executive director of Memory Care of New Braunfels, this isn’t uncommon, but nothing could have prepared me for the news our Resident Services Director Tina Schulze had. “Get dressed and meet me at the building,” Tina said. She had received a call from Gruene Senior Living in New Braunfels after their building had caught on fire and displaced 17 of their memory care residents. Because our New Braunfels location was listed as Gruene’s emergency secondary location, Tina opened our doors to their residents. I quickly met with Tina, our marketing coordinator, two nursing aides, and the staff from our business office around 9:30 p.m. We had to purchase more pillows, blankets, and furniture, outfitting each room as best we could within a matter of hours for 12 new residents. Gruene sent an additional five residents later that week. Local ambulance services brought residents in two at a time, and we began settling them into their temporary homes. Our main priority was to make This meant we had just a few hours to prepare for more than a dozen admissions.

country. I even gave them a true Texas experience at Buc-ee’s! I pulled off on the side of the road and said, “Guys, you’re looking at the largest and cleanest gas station in the U.S.” And like any visitors, they were enamored with the site and took many pictures to show off back home. I feel so fortunate to have been part of this opportunity, and I know Linda felt the same way. She even said to me, “Thank you so much for involving me in all of that. To be able to meet them and be a part of it, it’s going to be everlasting to me.” Our group agreed to stay in touch, ensuring that this connection will last for years to come. We can only continue to grow when we connect with others, and just like us, they are facing the same challenges. As Linda says, “We’re all so much the same.” ... Continued from Cover By 4:30 a.m. that Tuesday, we left our community in the hands of our regular staff and Gruene’s staff. Later that morning, we made a list of the things we needed and dove into each item as quickly as possible. Despite the tragedy and fear, this transition has been smooth. Every team member from Memory Care of New Braunfels has been flexible and understanding, while the Gruene team has adapted quickly. Our families have also shown their support, offering clothing, blankets, and other donations for our newest residents. Ken Luccioni from the corporate office has also been supportive and gracious during this incredibly busy time. As of today, we still have interim residents in our community, and they will be with our community for at least six months. While we never want a tragedy to strike, we could not have asked for better families, residents, and staff to temporarily join our Memory Care America family. Don’t keep our work and dedication to memory care a secret. Direct your friends and family to our facilities at or find us on Facebook.

We later learned that when our new Israeli friends returned to Israel, they only had one word to describe their visit.





Do Not Keep Our Work a Secret! —JimWalesa


1.833.MEM.CARE • 833.636.2273



2211 NW M ilitary H wy ., S te . 201 S an A ntonio , TX 78213 Inside 1 MCA's Approach Receives International Recognition


2 Tips for Fighting Free Radicals 2 Memory Care of Naples Becomes Eddie O’Brien’s New Home 3 How One Memory Care America Community Helped Patients Displaced by a Fire 3 Word Search 4 Learn About Your Gut-Brain Axis

Memory Care Wellness

THINKING WITH YOUR GUT The Amazing Connection Between Your Stomach and Your Brain

While it may seem strange to think about, the human stomach is truly a thing of wonder. Most humans only acknowledge its digestive processes, but the gut plays a much more influential role in our day-to- day lives than simply breaking down food for nutrient production; it is closely connected to our emotional states, as well.

organs in your body, so it’s not surprising it communicates with your stomach, too. What is surprising, however, is that the connection goes both ways. Just as your brain can relay information to your gut about excitement and anxiety, your gut can have a direct impact on the way you feel. According to a recent study published by the National Library of Medicine, when a person’s microbiome — the diverse population of good and bad bacteria living in the GI tract — becomes significantly altered or imbalanced, psychological or neurological issues can arise. In response to these emerging findings, dietary approaches and probiotics are being explored to see how well they can modulate a person’s microbiome and address symptoms. While research is still being conducted to determine the extent of the stomach’s influence over emotional and mental states, plenty of evidence proves the connection is real. Your stomach “talks” to you all the time, and, if you didn’t have enough reasons to pay attention to the food you eat, now you have one more thing to keep in mind. If you start thinking a bit more with your gut, your health will thank you for it!

Think about it. Have you ever felt butterflies before a date, intestinal pain

during moments of stress, or nausea before an important presentation? Have you ever told someone to “follow their gut” before making a big

decision? These physical symptoms are not a coincidence; they are known in the scientific world as the gut-brain axis.

Your gut is connected to the limbic system, the part of the brain that processes emotions. The brain sends messages to all other


Do Not Keep Our Work a Secret!

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