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1 year ago · · Comments Off on Why a Locked Door is Not Memory Care

Why a Locked Door is Not Memory Care


Security features such as locked doors and enclosed outdoor spaces are standard fixtures in many memory care facilities. It’s typical to control the movement of residents to prevent the unfortunate scenario of having them wander off or get hurt. 

But there is a problem with placing residents with Alzheimer’s disease or another memory impairment under lock and key. Despite the genuine concern for their safety, good care homes should focus on making residents feel alive, independent, and free to move around instead of feeling trapped or restricted like they are in some type of prison. 

For many residents, feeling locked in can have detrimental effects on their well-being. In most cases, they view this as an unfair and unreasonable practice that infringes on their independence, autonomy, and control of life. It’s not uncommon to see such restrictive environments causing so much distress and anxiety, eventually decreasing the sense of security and self-worth the person feels. A way forward would be to support residents to feel more independent within a larger, safe environment in the facility without worrying too much about what could go wrong.

While it’s true some safeguards are necessary; it’s possible to embrace an open-door policy while still maintaining safety for our elderly seniors living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Life Beyond A Locked Door 

Socially-engaging environments that give people a safe place to move about profoundly impact memory care treatment. As it turns out, being actively involved in activities beyond routine primary care, like events, exercise, and socialization, has powerful effects on overall brain health and provides a sense of purpose and happiness for the residents. Tribute is not a “facility” – it’s a community, with neighborhoods, where people are not just being housed or taken care of but are actually living. Our residents enjoy kitchens, living rooms, libraries, and individual bedrooms just like they would at home.

Tribute’s Approach to Memory Care

We use a research-based approach to interventional care that proactively keeps our memory care residents active and engaged in meaningful life conditions. With innovative interventions and specialty staff provided in a stimulating environment, we help inspire life regardless of age and impairment level. 

Our memory care setting has meaningful intervention programs that improve residents’ quality of life. These programs include several components of overall wellness structured to promote the health and well-being of individuals with memory loss. These include;

  • Nutrition: We understand the connection between nutrition and health, so we have assembled a culinary team that masterfully combines the benefits of a healthy lifestyle with nutritious food choices while tantalizing your palette with delicious meals.
  • Physical fitness: To prompt wellness and happiness, we offer several physical amenities for our residents, such as customized fitness plans and equipment and fun and engaging exercise classes, such as chair yoga and Tai Chi, to name just a few. 
  • Brain training (brain neurobics): Neurobic exercises are designed to improve concentration and memory, helping to regain lost abilities caused by aging and memory-related diseases. We have developed many brain neurobic programs that do just that.
  • Inflammation reduction: Our Chief Research Officer, Dr. Paula Grammas, believes that chronic inflammation is at the core of many diseases, especially memory care impairments. She works closely with our team to discover and implement programs to reduce inflammation while promoting health and brain function improvements. These programs include nutrition planning, exercise, circadian rhythm lighting, and more. 
  • Engagement programs: We offer many engaging activities for our community members, such as art, music, and gardening programs. We understand the importance of keeping our community members active and engaged with other members.

Engagement and Purpose

Each member of our community has the opportunity to participate in fun and socially engaging activities where they get to bond and create happy memories. We aim to foster a tight-knit community that keeps our memory care residents safe, healthy, and in good spirits. We offer days filled with meaningful activities and organized events that cater to their needs. These may include the following:

  • Magic shows
  • Cooking classes
  • Arts and crafts
  • Dance instructions – our recent Polynesian dance display was a big hit!
  • Spa days and mini-makeover events
  • Trips to restaurants, shops, community events, etc.
  • Birthday and seasonal holiday celebrations
  • Travel Club – virtually going around the world, viewing and tasting our way through exciting destinations
  • Reading Club – even those who don’t read any longer can engage
  • Walking Club – up to 6 miles a week is recommended

Check out our Facebook page, where you can follow along with all of the fun and engaging events we host in our community.

Life Beyond A Locked Door

Ultimately, when it comes to caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, there is more to take into account than basic health and safety. While we provide the much-needed medical care support, a medical director, 24 hours nursing, CNA’s and onsite therapy options, what is equally important is that we provide social integration and purpose for residents through the many engagement opportunities we offer. Tribute Senior Living’s “unlocked doors” concept does not mean we don’t have secure memory care neighborhoods for safety. It means that we encourage an environment that allows residents to come outside those doors and into the community so they can thrive and rediscover a fulfilling life.

Are you interested in learning more about our innovative approach to senior care? Feel free to contact us at 972-978-3999 for more information on the intervention programs we offer to our residents.

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