There are more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number could rise to almost 13 million by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
That need can be acutely felt by the 11 million Americans who provide unpaid care for those individuals, many of whom are grandparents, mothers, fathers and siblings. For many, finding the right place to care for a loved one is difficult.
To help, Kaitlyn Koch, administrator of Harmony Village at CareOne Hanover Township, recently spoke with NJ Advance Media about what to look for in a memory care facility, such as CareOne’s Harmony Village, which will open a new 84-room location in Hanover in 2022 and is part of a larger expansion plan by the company.
Q: What should families consider first when selecting a memory care facility?
A: I always tell families that they need to trust their gut. They need to walk into the building and feel comfortable when they’re visiting, and they need to feel safe and secure and have confidence in the staff to care for their the loved one the same way they would care for them. We’re almost like a luxury hotel. Every resident has his or her own suite, bathroom and kitchenette. There are common spaces throughout, a dining room, a movie theater, a mini gym, garden areas, a bistro that is open 24/7, and we’ll also have an ice cream parlor and a full-service salon.
Q: What on-site services will be at Harmony Village at CareOne Hanover Township?
A: Each Harmony Village community is staffed with a dementia specialist — an individual who is highly trained in memory care and works to educate staff and develop a customized plan of care that is specific to each resident. We’re also proud to offer in-house physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and we have a full team of dementia care specialists working with patients and their families. In addition, our director of nursing has relationships with many local specialists, such as cardiologists and psychologists. At CareOne Harmony Village in Hanover, families will have a place that is safe and secure for their loved ones, where they will have the resources and care they need.
Q: How does Harmony Village evaluate patients before they move in?
A: A comprehensive assessment is done before residents move in. Our dementia specialist and director of nursing meet with the family and resident to learn more about the resident’s past, what they like, their interests and goals moving forward, and how we can provide consistent, patient-centered care. It is so important, especially in a dementia assisted living community, that we focus on the resident’s past and their goals so the residents can live their best life. Additionally, residents live in different neighborhoods based on their cognitive ability.
Q: What recreational activities are available to residents?
A: We have a full calendar of activities planned for residents. There are daily exercise groups, cooking demonstrations, baking clubs, outings and we have different performers from the community come in. Whatever residents or their families want to see in place for them, we can make that happen. Additionally, families take a very active role here, visiting loved ones regularly and participating in activities, including some of our trips. It’s our goal to have families as active as possible. We want residents to be engaged and enjoy a purposeful, meaningful life. We want them to feel like they have a reason to be in the community.
For more information on Harmony Village at Hanover Township, call Ann Foley, director of sales and marketing, at 201-370-4592.