Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care at Jackson Manor — an Inside Look

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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Occupational therapist Fortune Alipala helps a resident with their fine motor skills.
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Learning to navigate the world after a dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be difficult and disorienting. When caring for a family member with one of these conditions, it may be challenging to find the best care for them.

Jackson Manor’s Memory Care Unit in Jackson, Mo., provides individualized care for those who experience dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Separate from other patient care at Jackson Manor, the unit provides individualized care for all residents experiencing memory difficulties.

“We’ve geared it towards all your senses — touch, smell, noise — there’s a lot of action going on here,” Admissions Director Charlene Foeste says. “Some people need that stimulation, while others do not. It’s more individualized.”

Robyn Cagle, a CNA at Jackson Manor, helps one of the residents with their meal.
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

The new unit, with an official open date in early summer 2021, comprises one wing of the nursing home. It was designed with memory care in mind.

A separate dining, activity and family visit room provides a calm environment for residents. Individualized activities led by staff members help to support residents’ memory and motor skills. Memory Care Director Lindsey Clifton says they’re planning several new stations in the unit, such as the lifestyle nook. This area will feature activities such as woodworking, letter writing and tasks involving other aspects of daily life.

Specific aspects of the unit feature specialized care. The interior entrance to the Memory Care unit will be secured, Clifton says, to prevent patients from wandering outside. This safety element is just one aspect of the Memory Care Unit’s dedication to residents. Employees work closely with residents to ensure the highest level of care possible.

“We have the luxury of having employees who have been here for a long time, so they’ve seen generations pass through our doors,” Foeste says. “We’re a family here.”

Emily Schmitt assists one of the residents at Jackson Manor.
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Soft lighting and neutral color palettes also contribute to the low-stimulating atmosphere of the Memory Care unit. A low-sensory room located near the dining hall provides a calming environment for residents who may be overstimulated. Natural wood furnishings, a light-colored sofa and similar elements combine to provide a calming space.

The amount of sensory stimulation may vary from resident to resident and day to day, Clifton says, so the Memory Care Unit strives to provide individualized care for each person. Down the hall from the low-sensory room, a high-sensory room provides more stimulation for residents’ senses. A rocking chair provides a space for movement, while brighter lights produce more visual stimulation for the individual.

At Jackson Manor, both short- and long-term residents are treated as family, Foeste says. Dedicated employees — many who have worked at the Jackson facility for years — help give personalized care to each individual.