Building upon the momentum of raising over $35,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s as a National Team Member, Meridian Senior Living, LLC (Meridian) will recognize National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in November and host free memory care workshops in their communities. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan dedicated November to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to increase awareness and demystify fallacies surrounding the disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2019 there are 5.8 million Americans living with AD and this figure is expected to triple by year 2050, AD ranks as the sixth leading cause of death in the nation and is incurable, AD follows a 14 year course and goes untreated for half of that time, screening is vital as intervention is most effective during the early course of the disease, heart healthy diet and lifestyle help prevent AD, and the total cost in the U.S. associated with AD in 2019 is estimated at $290 billion. Understanding the disease has become increasingly important in helping afflicted family members and loved ones experience better outcomes.
“When someone in the family has dementia, it changes everything,” states Sue Johnston, VP Program Development. “We understand the challenges you face and know that it is essential for you to have support, education, and an understanding of how important it is to take care of yourself.”
To offer families and caregivers strategies to cope with the challenges AD presents, Meridian communities are hosting free sessions: Caregiver Café and Mini Dementia Workshops based on Meridian’s exclusive memory care programming: Montessori Moments in Time (MMIT). The goals of MMIT are to enhance living for those with memory challenges by using the five directional paths. Each directional path has the resident and family in mind to encourage independence and helps deal with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. These paths include Family Connections, Health and Wellness, Dining Experience, Life Engagement, and Team Promise. Family Connections focus on the well-being of our families through social gatherings, volunteer opportunities, support, and education. Health and Wellness is based on providing satisfying experiences, promoting independence, and encouraging positive behavior while maintaining respect and dignity. The Dining Experience leverages meals as a time to reminisce, create new memories, maximize independence, and promote socializing, all in an inviting environment. Life Engagement includes scheduled programs that support the whole person allowing residents to function at their highest potential, giving them a sense of purpose and overall well-being. Team Promise focuses on developing care partnerships through ongoing education and training.
The Caregiver Café program offers an opportunity for caregivers of loved ones who suffer from AD or dementia to participate in a forum to ask questions while being surrounded by others going through their same situation. Community onsite experts serve as a resource to provide support for the caregivers and to help them better understand their loved one’s condition. Common topics include: “Alive Inside”, Tips for the Holidays”, and “Care for the Caregiver”.
Understanding the challenges caregivers of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia face daily, onsite experts run the free Mini-Dementia workshops that cover topics of importance to caregivers. Each month, the workshops cover a different topic regarding memory impairment. Sample topics include: “Three Stages of Alzheimer’s”, “Holiday Tips for Caregivers”, and “What is Dementia?”.
Scheduled times and chef prepared meals for these free workshops vary by community location. Since there are limited spaces in these workshops, interested participants should reserve their spot by contacting a Meridian community near them by visiting: meridian.com/communities. For more information about Meridian communities, visit meridiansenior.com.
About Meridian Senior Living:
Meridian Senior Living, a privately held company based in Bethesda, Maryland, owns and operates seniors housing communities across the country and provides operational consulting to 24 communities in China. With more than 70 communities in 21 states and more in development, Meridian is one of the largest seniors housing operators in the U.S. The company prides itself on providing the highest quality care, exceptional lifestyle programming and a distinctive dining experience for its residents. For more information on Meridian Senior Living, visit meridiansenior.com.