We’ve come a long way in treating conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s, and South Mountain Memory Care in Emmaus, Lehigh Valley, PA, is at the leading edge. Gone are the days when anyone with a “mental disorder” was tucked away in an institution like a subhuman. Twenty-five years ago, there was much less written or even talked about with regard to dementia care, and hospital-like long-term care facilities focused on addressing the basic physical needs of their residents. Certain behaviors associated with dementia, such as agitation, were viewed as problems that often were treated with psychotropic drugs. Communities like South Mountain Memory Care work hard to remove the stigma of dementia and provide their residents with the dignity, comfort, and care they need and deserve.
South Mountain Memory Care uses the “small-house concept” in its design and layout. The design and layout of SMMC minimize overstimulation as many residents become overwhelmed by large groups and spaces and can be susceptible to confusion and distraction. This is where more intimate settings should be provided. We mitigate the size of our 24 room small house by linking two 12 room houses around a central “Town Hall” that can be used for arts and crafts, dining, and group activities.
The small-house model is flexible and resilient enough to withstand future change. Not only has housing changed, but there has been, and will continue to be, a better appreciation of each individual resident’s needs. Treatments and activities are geared toward preventing, not just assuaging, uncomfortable, and even dangerous behaviors. Physical exercise seeks to maintain strength and help with balance and endurance, helping to prevent falls and result in less mental decline and better overall health.
Professionals in the field will receive more formal education on the various stages of the disease as more research is done and caregivers become more specialized. Many have already chosen memory care as a career, not just an “add-on.”
There will be a greater concentration on diet, lifestyle, and other factors that contribute to memory issues, and prevention becomes a greater focus. Communication with family members, residents, and caregivers has become more dynamic and ongoing, and technology has enabled and increased communication, especially during the COVID pandemic.
New and innovative technology to help people with dementia is surfacing more and more each day. There are new apps to help people remember their loved ones’ names, those that provide medication reminders, and those that help measure one’s cognitive decline over time. These adaptations and more may end up being an integral part of memory care programs of the not-so-distant future. And South Mountain Memory Care will always be a safe, comfortable, friendly, adaptive place for your loved one.
South Mountain Memory Care focuses on high-quality, personalized care. South Mountain Memory Care is proud to offer a wide range of resident-focused daily activity programming to our residents. Each neighborhood offers activity space for group and one-on-one activities.
The brand-new building is a stand-alone memory care community, meaning that the entire building, staff, and programs, are designed to serve residents with cognitive issues. To ensure person-centered care and attention, we have accommodations for up to 28 residents. The building is divided into two neighborhoods (wings), each offering 10 private suites and 2 semi-private suites. South Mountain Memory Care is located in the Allentown suburb of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and is easily accessible from the Lehigh Valley, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. For more information, go to southmountainmemorycare.com.