*To protect privacy, names and photos are not actual.

ConnectedLIFE Program for Early Memory Loss Eases Transition to Memory Support Neighborhood

Carol and John* were living at home, balancing retirement with maintaining their housework, preparing meals, paying bills, and other daily tasks. But when all of this became too much for them, their loved ones knew it was time for a change. They found that an assisted living community removed the stress of shopping, cleaning, and cooking for themselves, while providing a helping hand when they needed it. In their new home at a Senior Living Residences community, they took advantage of the supportive services and made several new friends. The team there ensured a smooth transition for the couple, checking in with them each day and making sure that they were having a positive experience with dining, programming, and connecting with the associates. 

Carol had been relying on her husband to navigate day-to-day throughout the community and remind her of mealtimes and events. However, after John passed away a couple of years into their residency, Carol became increasingly forgetful in the months following. As a result, Carol slowly withdrew from her peers, forgetting to come to meals and the programs she previously loved attending. Her ability to follow complex conversations with friends slowly slipped away. This struggle to follow their fast-paced dialogue without John guiding her along the way was one of the first signs of her cognitive impairment. She also needed extra aid in showering, taking medication, and getting dressed– all of which her husband had helped with before. 

Finding Connection, Solidarity and Support for Mild Cognitive Impairment

The caregiving staff recognized that Carol needed more support, and worked closely with her family to make the best decision for the next step in her care. SLR’s innovative ConnectedLIFE program was presented as a potential fit, and Carol’s family was drawn to the opportunity for small group connection that the program offered. ConnectedLIFE, designed for those with Mild Cognitive Impairment, provided Carol with the connectedness and support of a small group of peers who were also going through the early stages of memory loss, within the traditional assisted living neighborhood. Team members would kindly stop by her room each day to prompt her to join ConnectedLIFE programs, and they provided the guidance and direction she needed to participate. With the familiarity of her original apartment and comfort of her friends, trying ConnectedLIFE was just what Carol needed as she slowly began to adjust to her new life without her husband.

Overall, Carol’s time in ConnectedLIFE before transitioning to the Compass Neighborhood made all the difference. After the passing of her husband, the small group setting of ConnectedLIFE gave her the additional support and kindness she needed to move through a difficult time. Once Carol’s memory loss had progressed to the point of needing a secure Memory Support neighborhood, Compass gave Carol the structure and helping hand she needed as well as a renewed passion for engaging in her community.

The close-knit community within ConnectedLIFE helped immensely to ease Carol’s transition into a more structured and supportive environment for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia— the Compass Memory Support Neighborhood®. Ever since her transition to Compass, Carol has found a renewed sense of community, happiness, and peace among her fellow residents. The enriching programming, consistent daily routines, and non-pharmacological approach to treating the symptoms of memory loss helped Carol immensely. She thrived in this intimate, supportive, and compassionate environment. To her family, she often mentioned her appreciation of the delicious meals, the kind and helpful staff, and her many new friends. Although Carol had withdrawn from the activities she loved the most, after moving into Compass, she enthusiastically participated in her favorite programs. Her downsized bedroom and the smaller-scale Compass Neighborhood made it easier for her to navigate between her apartment and other areas of the building, and she even chose beautiful outfits for herself each day. 

Who Is Right for ConnectedLIFE?

The goal of the ConnectedLIFE program is for residents experiencing early signs of memory loss or Mild Cognitive Impairment to help them maintain independence while receiving additional support services in an intimate, small-group setting. Seniors in this stage of memory loss may feel frightened, confused, or embarrassed, leading them to self-isolate and withdraw from social activities. With the ConnectedLIFE program, residents find solidarity with peers experiencing the same symptoms of memory loss.

The benefits of ConnectedLIFE include:

  • The safety, support, and value of a small group of peers undergoing the same experiences
  • A robust calendar of engaging, social activities designed to empower residents and promote independence
  • Access to a full-time ConnectedLIFE Program Specialist, who is a Certified Dementia Practitioner
  • An Assessment to match social interventions
  • Extra support throughout the day, including gentle reminders to attend meals and programs
  • Treating every resident as a whole person by attending to their emotional and physical needs