The week of Sept. 9-15 is National Assisted Week® and the annual, national observance provides a unique opportunity for residents, their loved ones, staff and volunteers to celebrate the individuals served in assisted living while learning more about this type of senior housing.
This year’s theme, “Capture the Moment”, has been selected to help overcome the stigma that older adults in assisted living communities don’t have purpose in life anymore. According to the National Center for Assisted Living Executive Director Scott Tittle, “No matter your age, we should be living life to its fullest. Assisted living caregivers help seniors realize this by supporting them with everyday tasks while maximizing their independence and honoring their individuality.”
At The Palace Gardens Homestead, the newest assisted living and memory care community to be developed and operated by the Miami-based Palace Group, extensive research is done with each resident to gear care to their individual needs and interests. The company’s proprietary customer relationship management (CRM) system addresses social, dietary and administrative needs for residents, explains Director of Sales Elizabeth Martinez.
“How this works is in addition to medical records and client information, the CRM tracks all aspects of residents’ background such as where they previously lived, schools attended, whether they served in the military and if so, which branch, religious persuasion, employment/professional backgrounds, prior life experiences, etc.,” she added. “This enables our Palace caregivers to find resident matches fostering relationships between residents.”
Within the system, there is also a profile that keeps track of residents’ interests and favorite pastimes. For example, if a resident enjoys dominos, they can immediately be invited to join a group to play or a group will be organized around their interests.
“We also track preferences for daily life including details about schedules for showers and snacks, and meals, food preferences, and options of personal laundry,” said Martinez. “This becomes sort of a biographical profile about the resident. The result is our care is geared to the individual rather than asking the residents to fit into our schedules.”
Using technology in this way brightens senior’s lives enabling The Palace team to deliver person-centered care customized to each individual’s needs, wants and expectations. While the staff of caregivers has personal relationships and knowledge of residents, Martinez says The Palace cannot rely exclusively on this information to transfer to each caregiver. The CRM ensures that nothing falls through the cracks because our team has the data they need to deliver consistent care.
“Socialization is an important counter-measure to the prevalence of depression among seniors and the CRM supports our considerable efforts to encourage engaging and stimulating social opportunities,” she continued. “It’s our job to help new residents make friends and come and interact with others. By accessing the demographics about our residents, we can identify people with similar interests and backgrounds. It is so validating to be able to help people connect and it’s quite amazing the stories we learn about people. The CRM allows us to preserve each resident’s dignity by treating them like the unique individuals they are.”
Martinez says The Palace team works hard to create an environment where families enjoy visiting. Each month, the activity calendar includes parties and holiday celebrations that are known as “family and friends” events. These offer something for all ages at no additional costs to families. There may be face painting and pony rides for great-grandchildren and music and dancing for grandchildren and adult children. At The Palace, chefs enjoy these opportunities to plan theme menus to showcase their talents.
To learn more about The Palace Gardens Homestead’s assisted living lifestyle as well as the community’s specialized care for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, please call Elizabeth Martinez at 305-247-0446.