July 7, 2023
PHOENIX, AZ — Sagewood, a life plan community located in north Phoenix, has been recognized for its memory care program. Each resident at Sagewood’s Heartfelt Connections Memory Care Program has a care-plan tailored directly to their needs, capabilities, interests and more.
Sagewood was awarded the “Gold Standard” from Life Care Services, the founder of Heartfelt Connections. This award recognizes that all employees are well-versed in the program and use it effectively to give residents the best possible care. Sagewood staff members complete several courses annually on the Heartfelt Connections methods, but the sentiment of the program is rooted in the heart of Sagewood as well.
“We work with the residents and their families to create an individual care plan, tailored activities and we make sure residents get as much one-on-one attention as possible,” said Gina Razdan, Director of Assisted Living and Memory Care at Sagewood. “Our staff truly believe in the Heartfelt Connections program and the positive impact it has on residents.”
Two of the most impactful programs for memory care residents are life stations and points of interest stations. Life stations encompass activities that residents would do daily during their lives, such as grocery shopping, laundry, or setting a dinner table. By participating in these life stations, residents are not only able to operate independently but are given a sense of purpose by helping the community. Points of interest stations are hobby-related activities that encourage a new passion or tap into an interest that a resident once had. Sagewood provides opportunities to complete arts and crafts, make music, participate in gardening, and other interest-related activities.
Staff members use resident experiences to create life stations and points of interest stations. By taking a genuine interest in residents’ lives, staff members learn about their past work experience, hobbies, likes and dislikes. The staff keep detailed notes and communicate with one another to learn all they can about the residents to provide a personalized level of care.
“It can be extremely hard for families and friends to watch their loved one’s abilities decline,” said Dannis Murphy, Sagewood’s Assistant Director of Assisted Living and Memory Care Manager. “At Sagewood and through Heartfelt Connections, we focus on the abilities remaining in residents and create programs to strengthen these skills and foster independence.”
Sagewood also provides tools to help residents stay independent for as long as possible. For example, residents with Parkinson’s Disease are provided with weighted dining utensils so they can still feed themselves (a common issue in memory care and assisted living communities is over-caring, which often leads to a more rapid decline in physical, emotional, and cognitive health).