By NJ – Care One Management | December 07, 2021
Dementia may prevent people from remembering the warm and welcoming home in which they lived for many years, but it shouldn’t prevent them from living in a new home that is just as warm and welcoming.
That philosophy long has shaped the approach that CareOne — the largest privately- owned assisted living and health care provider in New Jersey — has taken to designing and operating its Harmony Village residential memory care communities. The approach has earned glowing reviews from the families of people living in Harmony Village communities in Moorestown, Paramus and Jackson. And — as a result of that well-earned reputation — it has driven demand from other families wanting to ensure that their parents or other loved ones enjoy the same safe and caring environment, great food, bright surroundings, enjoyable activities, and respect for individual needs and preferences.
CareOne has responded by significantly expanding Harmony Village at CareOne Stanwick Road. The Moorestown memory care community is adding 31 high-end apartments, and will be ready to receive the new residents of those cheerful, dementia-friendly living quarters in the first months of 2022.
‘Neighborhoods’ Based On Needs Allow Aging In Place
Rachael Wittman, executive director of Harmony Village at CareOne Stanwick Road, says that she and her staff are excited to welcome those residents to Harmony Village and its neighborhoods.
“An important aspect of the CareOne approach, one that enables us to meet each person’s specific needs, is that we organize the Harmony Village community into neighborhoods based on residents’ cognitive abilities. We currently serve 68 residents within four different neighborhoods designed to accommodate needs ranging from modest cognitive impairment through more-extensive memory loss. Each neighborhood has its own country kitchen and dining area, library, activity room and access to a shared courtyard.”
Wittman said that Harmony Village at CareOne Stanwick Road is the only memory care community in South Jersey to group residents based on degree of cognition. “The neighborhood approach provides a real advantage in terms of giving our staff the ability to hone in on the specific needs of residents within a group, offering the appropriate level of assistance while promoting a positive and nurturing environment.”
The approach also allows Harmony Village at CareOne Stanwick Road to accommodate residents’ evolving needs as a person’s memory loss and care requirements progress. “We strongly support the concept of aging in place because moving a resident with dementia can cause great stress for them and their families,” Wittman said, adding, “We don’t discharge residents whose needs advance to high levels of care, because this is their home.”
Thanks to the CareOne philosophy on recruiting, developing and valuing staff members, residents aren’t the only ones who spend many years at the Moorestown memory care community. “Many of our employees have been with us for more than a decade,” Wittman said, adding that this longevity makes for great connections between residents and team members who have a thorough understanding of each resident as an individual.
That staff stability is augmented by a management team with deep knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Further, the physical expansion of the Moorestown memory care community will be accompanied by a staff expansion that will include the addition of an in-house Dementia Specialist who will serve as an advocate for residents; a liaison for families; and a community educator with expertise in dementia and memory care services.
Transforming Lives — and Restoring The Joy In Family Relationships
“We understand the behaviors and challenges that come with dementia, and have proven ourselves to be the go-to for people with memory care needs,” Wittman said. “Everything we do is geared toward people with dementia — from the staff training to the activities offered and the food served. We provide a safe, comfortable and accommodating setting, along with vibrant socialization through an activity calendar that includes outside trips, live entertainment, decorating for the holidays and more. We focus on what our residents can do, not what they can’t.”
That focus has yielded heart-warming results. “Given the right environment, people with dementia who previously may have been withdrawn show themselves capable of many things, from dancing and singing to telling jokes, playing cards, gardening and more,” Wittman said, adding that residents aren’t the only ones whose moods and lives are transformed by the Harmony Village experience. “Being a caregiver for someone with dementia on a 24/7 basis is extremely difficult for family members, and knowing that a parent or spouse is in good hands helps family members relax and regain the joy in their relationship with their loved one.”
Meeting a Growing Need In The Burlington County Area
Harmony Village at CareOne Stanwick Road has operated at capacity since it opened in 2008, and has always had a waiting list thanks to word-of-mouth reviews and consistently high customer satisfaction scores.
The expansion to be completed in early 2022 will enable the memory care community to serve 99 residents, and to grow from four to six neighborhoods, further enhancing the ability to provide services tailored to residents’ cognitive abilities.
Wittman said that while her team members are excited about the physical enlargement of their community and the prospect of welcoming new residents, they also are pleased to be meeting a growing need for residential memory care in the Burlington County area.
“We love what we do and take pride in providing our residents with a great quality of life while giving their families the peace of mind of knowing that their loved ones are in a safe and caring environment,” she said.
For More Information
Harmony Village at CareOne Stanwick Road is located at 301 N. Stanwick Road in Moorestown and can be reached at 856-638-1244 or by visiting care-one.com/locations/harmony-village-at-careone-stanwick-road. CareOne also operates Harmony Village communities in Paramus and Jackson, with another community opening soon in Whippany. For more information, visit care-one.com.