"This is a very welcoming place." (Resident)
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Memory Care

Memory Care Offered with Respect and Compassion at MorningStar

Memory CareA diagnosis of any form of dementia is sobering enough.  On its heels, out of necessity, families begin the daunting process of education in pathology and prognosis.  Allow MorningStar to be a clarifying voice that helps to dispel the myths as it prepares you to meet the future well informed.

Let’s begin with a definition of terms, welcome in any new situation: Memory Care has been adopted, somewhat euphemistically, to encompass all of Dementia Care, that is, to describe assisted living care communities specifically designed for those with memory loss due to any form of dementia.  Alzheimer’s Care is simply a subcategory, named for the most widely known type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease.

At MorningStar, Memory Care is defined first from a posture of respect for the resident.  What we offer, how we communicate, how we touch, it’s all marked with dignity and love for each person.  The compassion found here is borne out of a deep understanding of the disease of dementia in its many forms, including Alzheimer’s.

Longest Day

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We reveled in a MorningStar-wide Uplifting Day in June…to honor the memory-impaired. Read more about our creative variety of “Longest Day” celebrations and fundraising efforts.

“Amazing and Very Well Done!”

“Your staff, residents and families were an inspiring addition to The Longest Day. Five of our own staff attend several of your events, each returning with glowing comments. From sunrise to sunset, MorningStar UPLIFTED their communities, raised money and shared a powerful message of hope and compassion. And you made it fun for everyone! Thank you for everything you do on The Longest Day and every day!” Alzheimer’s Association, Denver chapter

Memory Care in our Reflections Neighborhood

For residents with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related conditions, we offer memory care in our secure Reflections Neighborhood tucked within most of our MorningStar communities.  Whether your loved one has recently been diagnosed or is in the advanced stages of the disease, we can help.  Through a resident-directed approach, our staff use multi-sensory cues (including aromatherapy) to calm and to awaken memories, to support capabilities and, above all, to affirm dignity and value.

• A team of care managers specially trained in therapeutic approaches to care
• Recreational and purposeful activities, including music, life skills, art, entertainers and exercise
• Scheduled outings and special events
• Daily health monitoring
• Assistance with meals prepared by an Executive Chef
• Gracious and functional spaces, including strolling paths and all-season porches
• Suites that accommodate resident’s own furniture and mementos

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A Closer Look…At Joy

This lovely MorningStar resident has macular degeneration, but still manages to look close at life and see its beauty.  Here is a scene of determination and optimism…allow it to bless and encourage you.

At the Water Pump…Every Day

Teacher Anne Sullivan spent many water-drenched days pumping cold water over the hand of blind-deaf-mute Helen Keller.  We read in The Miracle Worker of those dogged days, circa 1870, when Anne finger-spelled the word “W-A-T-E-R” into young Helen’s palm over and over and over again.  Each time she was met with a face of blank disconnect, of confused frustration.  Until—that one brilliant moment when Helen finally understood, and made the association that transformed her life.

As profoundly true as it was for Anne Sullivan, ours is also a life called to serve the disadvantaged: those with memory impairment.
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And like Anne, we, as specialists in Memory Care, know this same kind of exalted moment.  Fleeting perhaps, but exalted all the same.  Each day, our care managers knowingly, willingly start over again to make connections and affirmations of value and purpose and meaning for our residents.  For this is the world of dementia.

But into this same world, a corps of the most amazing souls choose to enter: our Reflections Care Staff.  They enter, and stay, drawn by love and compassion for their fellow man.

Here, in our Reflections Neighborhoods, we celebrate the smallest of successes.  Here we find joy in the most fleeting recognition and flash of clarity.  Some days we savor very few of those moments, and that’s okay.  The far bigger reward is to take that aged hand and bring it patiently back to the water pump.  By standing at the pump with our dear residents, day after day, we shower them in love.

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One of our mission statements is to value all seniors as gifted and contributing individuals.  Out of this precept comes our attentiveness to the unique voice, the rights and preferences, of each resident.
Here, Frank reviews his care plan, line by line, editing the details as he reads.  “I want to make sure it’s what I want!”

 

 

 

MorningStar Memory Care Featured

MorningStar’s expertise in Memory Care was highlighted in the Colorado Real Estate Journal’s special editorial on Senior Living.  — Click Here.  Our specialists in memory care were also interviewed on Colorado’s Best, during its broadcast of “Senior Week: Aging Gracefully” on Channel 2 and Fox 31 in Denver.

 

 

Click Here to enjoy additional MorningStar videos on our YouTube channel.
 

So What!

Every day, we are humbled to witness touching exchanges between Reflections residents and family members as both learn to communicate in a new way.  Wondrously, the journey of dementia can be a time of great restoration.  Barriers come tumbling down.  Estrangements are mended.  Parents, children, siblings can share at a deeper, more honest level.

Here’s evidence: a letter from a son soon after the onset of his mother’s dementia:

I love you.  Not just because you’re my mom, but because of the person you are…a loving, caring wife; a warm, understanding mother; a rock-solid friend; someone who has a smile for a stranger; a woman with so much kindness in her heart she could warm a winter’s frost.

You have always been a giver, and from what I’ve observed about humanity, being a giving person brings happiness to one’s life.  It’s not money or possessions—it’s when people gives of themselves that true happiness and satisfaction is found.

Read more...

 

MorningStar Participates in Nine “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” Events Across the Western U.S.

MorningStar teams walked in joyful, confident strides, at the 2015 “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” from August through November across the cities in which we have communities.  This 5K Walk is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.  And MorningStar was there.  Boy, were we ever there—staff, residents and family members—as walkers, runners, exhibitors and sponsors!

In the weeks leading up to the event, each community hosted all manner of creative events to raise money: paying to wear jeans on Friday, spaghetti dinners, auctions, car washes, and jewelry sales.  Together, MorningStar gave $16,085 to AA in eager search of the cure.

Words from a fellow participant: wheelchair-bound Linda, who “ran” the 5K with one of our Executive Directors (pictured below): “To me, one of the greatest things about the race/walk is that we look out and realize that we are definitely not in this alone.  The support, encouragement, joy, blessings, and hugs that we all are able to give to one another is such an amazing gift! For me, as I hold up two purple flowers in memory of both my incredible Mom and Dad, I can just picture them giving me heaven hugs!”

MorningStar Resident Owen was invited on the Phoenix main stage to dance, clap and sing (at one point using a drum stick to keep beat on his head!).  MorningStar Resident Greta exclaimed that day: “We are so fortunate! The sky is blue, people are friendly, there is nice green grass, and, oh, look at that dog! This made my day.  This is my big day today.  It’s a great feeling to help someone else.  It makes me feel happy!”

Here are scenes from the NINE walks in which nearly 200 of us participated (including our House Dogs).

When people ask me how to know it’s time to move a loved one into a senior care community, I usually tell them: ‘Three months ago.’ (Teepa Snow, Internationally Renown Dementia Care Expert)

At MorningStar Senior Living, we represent the very best in senior living with our unique mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.” With a foundation built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, we strive to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting.  We encourage you to contact us to learn more about our compassionate approach to memory care. 

MorningStar communities are private pay.