seniors doing yogaThe holiday season is full of joy and nostalgia for most people, but this time of year can present some additional challenges for families of individuals coping with memory loss.  How does a person-centered care community, such as Kendal at Granville, address this reality?



Sensory Rich Programs

Residents gather for a musical performance A natural part of aging is the loss of memory; in some individuals, this manifests as dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, or another related memory care diagnosis. We know that memory is connected to all of our five senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing) and appealing to these senses may help unlock or release some memories.  Each resident has differing physical, emotional and social needs, and all are met with dignity and respect.

Residents may not always recognize a loved one who visits, and that can be particularly difficult for friends and family.  Kendal at Granville has available a wide variety of sensory rich special programs designed to improve or maintain memory functions for those residing in our assisted living and skilled care, including:

  • Urban Zen combines essential oils, gentle touch and mindful breathing to bring comfort and healing to residents and staff, bringing relief from pain, stress, insomnia and other ailments.  (Touch, smell)

  • Yoga Therapy involves gentle movements and breathing exercises that can be done in a bed or chair. Reiki is a Japanese technique of light touch, on or near the body, that helps reduce stress and promote relaxation and healing. (Touch)

  • Java Music Club brings residents together, often over a cup of coffee, to enjoy music.  They sing along to CDs of favorite and traditional songs, play chimes and other musical instruments, and take turns holding the “talking stick” to reminisce about musical memories. (Taste, hearing)

  • Memory Books have helped residents connect with their past. Staff members and volunteers ask residents about their family, hometown, pets, hobbies and more. Family members often provide photographs, and together these are compiled into a scrapbook of words and images. (Sight, touch)

  • A painting created during the opening minds through art programOpening Minds through Art (OMA) is an award-winning intergenerational program designed for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of neurocognitive disorders.  The program encourages creativity and another opportunity for self-expression for individuals who may often appear non-expressive. Each session starts with familiar songs A resident shows her creativity through art while paintingprior to beginning a project. And this social program engages residents and volunteers one-on-one to provide a warm, personal touch.  (Sight, hearing, touch)

  • Music and Memory Program, which can calm agitation, is as simple as downloading personalized music to an iPod, such as show tunes, lullabies, wedding songs or whatever is of interest to the resident, who can enjoy their individualized playlist through headsets or earbuds. (Hearing)

  • Linked Senior supports person-centered care through life enrichment and dementia engagement using simple technology and a no-drug therapy. (Hearing, sight, touch)

Kendal’s Approach to Wellness

A group of residents tap into beloved memories while painting

Kendal’s policy is to provide care without the use of physical or chemical restraints.  Our message is simple: every stage of life is worth living! We strive to celebrate each moment with our residents who have experienced memory loss, and that is especially true during the holidays.  As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery, but today, is a gift:  that’s why they call it the present!”


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