By Matthew Solomon
With cognitive health being such a major epidemic facing Americans, many have begun to wonder how to keep a healthy mind? According to the latest report from the Alzheimer’s Association roughly 5.7 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s disease and by the year 2050 that number is expected to rise to 14 million. Even more pressing for millions of Americans is where to find care for their loved ones already struggling with cognitive health conditions like Alzheimer’s.
While not a recent development in the world of senior care, the United States healthcare industry has seen a dramatic rise in the number of senior living communities who offer memory care support or dedicated memory care communities. In Sarasota one of the longest operating champions of memory care support has been Aviva – A Campus for Senior Life through their Anchin Memory Care. The senior living campus which also offers independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation has not only made cognitive health a priority for their memory residents but for all seniors across campus.
“Our residents are so much more to us than part of our jobs. Each and every day we see them, interact with them, and they steadily become a central part of each staff member’s life. That importance makes it very apparent when a particular resident starts showing signs of cognitive or memory loss. While it is easy to assume we only see this in our oldest residents the truth of the matter is that we have residents in their early 70s whose cognitive losses have progressed too far for traditional at home aid.”
As CEO of Aviva, Jay Solomon has empowered his team to find innovative ways to make cognitive health a priority on campus. For residents, the community has partnered with local memory care experts including the Memory Clinic at Sarasota Memorial to bring programs, lectures, and resources to the community. In addition to engaging lectures, the campus actively promotes easily accessible lifestyle changes for residents to take advantage of. One of the most popular lifestyle changes that residents regularly choose is Aviva’s dynamic heart healthy and wellness inspired dining options. With a focus on locally sourced proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce the heart healthy diet not only helps residents in all levels of living stay physically healthy but studies have shown that these diets work to keep a healthy mind.
Residents who live in Anchin Memory Care are placed there
due to their cognitive health requiring a high level of care and support. But as Solomon goes on to discuss these residents still have the ability to thrive;
“I think when many family members are faced with the decision to move a loved one into memory care the choice often presents itself with a sense of finality. It is an all too common misconception that residents living in memory care community or those who need to are beyond the possibility of independence. No matter where a resident may fall on the cognitive spectrum our memory care team pushes each resident to work through programs that could help things like mobility, memory recall, and mood swings. The key is to always remember that the person we love is still there living underneath the disease.”
The Aviva memory care team utilizes dozens of the latest tools and resources to promote cognitive health. Programs like Music & Memory, a personalized curated music playlist to stimulate memories, or the incredibly unique ElderGrow, a mobile self-sustained indoor garden, work to engage residents in activities that are fun and light-hearted while simultaneously attempting to que their cognition. Using computers and digital technology, the Dakim Brain Fitness program takes residents through a series of activities, games, and puzzles which help to repair and strengthen neural connections. Aviva’s team is
passionate that these strategies not only go a long way in slowing any progression but also improve the overall quality of life for these amazing residents.
These initiatives represent only a small portion of the work that Aviva is doing to help the fight against Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other cognitive diseases. The campus is a strong supporter of the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and participates as a team in the organization’s annual “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” in November. The 2018 walk on November 17th is expected to be Aviva’s most successful yet as the campus hopes members of the Sarasota community will join their walking team, The Aviva Memory Keepers.
For more information on how to get involved in Aviva’s fight against Alzheimer’s visit www.act.alz.org and search for The Aviva Memory Keepers. To learn more about Aviva – A Campus for Senior Life and experience the possibilities of senior living visit www.avivaseniorlife.org or call 941-225-8369 for more information.
AVIVA – A Campus for Senior Life
1951 N. Honore Ave. | Sarasota, FL 34235
941.225.8369 | AvivaSeniorLife.org