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Engagement—So Much More than a Promise

Engagement is a term used in both love and war. It is a term designating the promise made before a wedding as well as a term objectifying battle. As we age, we are less likely to use the term unless we are looking for memory care for a loved one. Why then?

Because in quality memory care, engagement is the term used for dementia-specific life-enriching activities. As our loved ones’ brains change, their ability to participate in what once was easy changes as well. Traditional programs geared to interest are too generic for them. They are not truly engaged.

Research shows that dementia-specific engagement actually delays the progression of cognitive loss. Individuals with dementia engaged in an active lifestyle maintain cognition longer. An active lifestyle for an individual with dementia includes preference and dementia-specific engagement.

There are many memory care communities with a promise of engagement backed by a nice logo, but with little staffing, training or commitment. Walk through on an evening or weekend and see for yourself. An empty promise.

At Arden Courts Memory Care Communities, we provide a full program of engagement. With our experienced dementia-trained programming staff, we have a seven day a week, ten hour a day commitment to honoring that promise. Just ask our residents.

One family found that their mom, Rose, no longer wanted to go out for ice cream on Saturday—a ritual they had shared for years. When asked why, Rose said, I have more fun here with my friends. I miss too much when I leave. You can come Saturdays; we will get ice cream here.

Another resident, a retired teacher told his daughter, I have learned more here than I have in years. I have my small group, we do history and all kinds of stuff. I go to bed tired but happy.

Whether it is Engagement Therapy Treatment™, or Namaste, Arden Courts’ focuses on optimizing cognitive strength regardless of where the individual’s skill level is. Matching skill, preferences and training to create a quality of life unrivaled by other memory communities.

At Arden Courts, engagement is much more than a promise. Plan a tour today to see it in action.



By-line: Cate McCarty, PhD, ADC has been collaborating with Arden Courts in a variety of roles since the late 90’s. Her background in nursing, activities and admissions has given her a passionate commitment to quality of life for the individual and family with dementia.

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Travers C1, Brooks D, Hines S, O'Reilly M, McMaster M, He W, MacAndrew M, Fielding E, Karlsson L, Beattie E, (2016). Effectiveness of meaningful occupation interventions for people living with dementia in residential aged care: a systematic review, JBI Database System Review,14(12): 163-225.

Gitlin, L.N., Piersol ,C.V., Hodgson, N., Marx, K., Roth, D.L., Johnston, D., Samus, Q., Pizzi, L., Jutkowitz, E., Lyketsos, C.G. (2016). Reducing neuropsychiatric symptoms in persons with dementia and associated burden in family caregivers using tailored activities: Design and methods of a randomized clinical trial, Contemporary Clinical Trials, 49:92-102.
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Psychosocial interventions for reducing antipsychotic medication in care home residents, Health Technology Assessment, 18(30):1-226.

Richter, T., Meyer, G., Mohler, R., & Kopke, S. (2012). A systematic review of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of sensory, psychological and behavioral interventions for managing agitation in older adults with dementia, Cochrane Database Systematic Review, 12:12.


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