Savoy, Ill. (WCIA)

We are the Memory Care specialists at Autumn Leaves. Meaning, we care for people living with Alzhiemer’s and other forms of Dementia. That’s our niché and our sole focus.

There are 2 things we get asked frequently:

Is dementia just forgetfulness or just a normal part of aging? A lot of people joke about forgetting where you left the car keys. But, dementia is NOT a normal part of aging. A person with dementia may have problems with things they used to do without a second thought – finding their way home from the store, paying bills on time, remembering to turn off the stove, and other things of that nature. While some may call dementia a disease, it’s not technically a disease at all. Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that include memory loss, language, and problem-solving skills. However, Alzheimer’s, is a disease that causes dementia symptoms.

When is it time for full-time memory care? This is a really hard question for families to answer, but there are a few big things to look for when making this decision. Has your health as the Caregiver declined? Caregiving is extremely difficult, especially dementia care, which often requires round the clock attention. Burnout is a very real outcome of full-time family caregiving. Has your loved one declined significantly or do they pose a danger to themselves? Have they begun wandering away from the home? Do they need help with feeding, bathing, medications? This is a lot to juggle, and family caregivers are doing the best they can, but we would like to remind them that we have an entire team to do everything they’re attempting to ALONE – it’s ok to ask for help.

In short—If your loved one has begun falling or poses a danger to themselves, it’s time to seriously consider memory care. And if you don’t think you’re ready, we offer Respite and Day Stay options to give these full-time family caregivers a much-needed break. These options can be a great way to recharge and/or to see if your family member would benefit from our memory care community.

And these are 2 things I wish more people knew:

One of the biggest misconceptions we combat is the notion of trying to “correct” people when they are living with dementia. It’s a completely normal reaction to want to correct someone, but it’s a habit people need to break in dementia care. Studies show that it’s actually better for patients (in terms of less alarming and frightening) when we don’t attempt to force, or coerce, them back into “reality.” Rather it’s best when we simply validate the emotion that is at the root of the behavior or comment and redirect the conversation. For example: a resident might tell us she’s worried that she forgot her son’s 10th birthday and needs to go to the store to buy ingredients to bake his favorite cake. Rather than letting her know he’s not 10 anymore, we might say something like, “Oh that’s so great. How exciting! Why don’t we make a list of things we’ll need to get and you can tell me all about your son.” This kind of redirection acknowledges her worry, presents a solution, and relieves her stress – and our team member gets to learn something about her son that might be helpful further down the road the next time she mentions him.

This is something we train our staff and families on with our Dementia Live training, and it’s pretty powerful. Put your hands over your eyes as if you were looking through a pair of binoculars. Do you notice how you can only see what’s directly in front of you, but not what is to the sides in your periphery vision, or what’s immediately in front of you at your feet? This is how most people with dementia see – as their disease progresses, their visual field gets more and more narrow. So this is why it’s really important to always approach them from the front where they can see you instead of coming up behind them which may startle them. It’s also why you have to be really careful about making sure pathways are clear of any tripping hazards, because a person with dementia will not necessarily be able to see them.

Autumn Leaves offers award-winning, person-centered care specifically designed for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We focus exclusively on memory care. It’s all we do. It’s our passion. Our communities are cozy and built to feel like home. Our residents are free to explore every part of the building and they’re all on one floor. We’ve designed the community, so it’s easy for them to navigate. Enjoying the outdoors is vital, so we have secured spaces for residents to enjoy the sunshine whenever they’d like.

No two people with dementia are the same. So, it’s important that their care be personalized to their unique needs no matter where they are in the disease. To address this, each team member is required to be certified in a program called CARES. CARES is a specific course geared toward caring for people living with Alzheimer’s and other related Dementia diagnoses. It is part of the foundation we’ve built to help our residents to feel more safe, secure and confident about their surroundings. We want them to feel that when They’re Here, They’re Home.

We are currently running an extended promotion. New residents save 50% on community fees when they sign a new residency agreement.

But, for your viewers ONLY – we’ve decided to run a special promotional offer as well. It’s 50% off the first month’s rent. That’s a huge up-front savings for people considering Memory Care options.

J&M Family Management / Autumn Leaves
406 West Curtis Road
Savoy, IL 61874