22 Masonic Ave., P.O. Box 70, Wallingford, CT 06492
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Open to all, the mission of Masonicare is to enhance the quality of life by providing health, social and spiritual care throughout an individual's lifetime with emphasis on the needs of older persons.
Masonicare in Wallingford launches memory care unit
September 14, 2022Masonicare in Wallingford launches memory care unit.
As part of its strategy to offer more specialized care, Masonicare held a soft opening of its new memory care unit on Wednesday.
The unit, open to patients with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, will hold 17 residents and offer recreation, sensory stimulation, a sunroom and other specialized programs.
"By doing this, this allows us, in my opinion and I think really the entire organization's opinion, to really be able to create a specialty unit that I think will enhance the quality of life of the residents that we're serving each and every day," said J.P. Venoit, CEO of Masonicare.
Kristen Welton, Greater New Haven development manager for the Alzheimer's Association of Connecticut, told those gathered for the soft opening that there are about six million people living with Alzheimer's in the United States. In Connecticut, that number is 80,000.
"Having actions like this is really a great opportunity for them to stay local, be in the community and be taken care of by people that they trust," Welton said.
The memory care unit is a circular shape with large rooms for two residents, giving each their own space. Three of the rooms are fully private.
"They are super large so they are not getting into each other's space," said Ann Collette, Masonicare's vice president of strategy. "... Because dementia is a processing disorder, you don't want to be walking into each other. You want to be able to have your own space. What is lovely about having companionship is exactly that. You have somebody else there."
The unit will also offer a Snoezelen room, which offers sensory stimulation for residents.
"The term ‘dementia' describes progressive disorders affecting the brain such as Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies," according to the Snoezelen website. "These conditions present problems with thinking, mood, behavior and the ability to take part in everyday activity and leisure. If no suitable activities are provided and people living with dementia have nothing to do, they might become increasingly isolated, frustrated, bored and unhappy."
The Snoezelen room at Masonicare will include glow in the dark sensory tools, a heated chair for relaxation and tactile stimulation.
"It is meant to be an environment of relaxation, but at the same time stimulating," Collette said.
Venoit said that the new memory care unit is just one step in continuing to provide specialized care.
"We're actually renovating floor by floor and then bringing in specialty in areas" Venoit said. "... In our 127 years, we've continued to adapt and part of our strategy has been looking at areas where we see a shift in our industry and we're able to adapt."
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