A Closer Look At Our Memory Care Community—Talking With Jackie Crespo

A Closer Look At Our Memory Care Community—Talking With Jackie Crespo

Image of Jackie Crespo,

November 30, 2022

Watching a loved one go through the progressive effects of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be incredibly difficult for family members, especially when the time comes to move them into a memory care community. It’s never an easy decision to make, and it’s important to know that your loved one is being properly cared for in all aspects of health and wellness, and at Heather Glen Senior Living—we do just that.

Our memory care community stands out by providing personalized care for each of our residents and focusing on their physical, spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual and environmental well-being. Above all, we care about making everyone who walks through our doors feel like family—and our Memory Care Director, Jackie Crespo, takes that idea to the next level. For nearly 4 years, Jackie has been a crucial part of our team here at Heather Glen, and the standard that she upholds goes far beyond expectations. Read below to hear from Jackie and find out more about our family-oriented memory care community. 

A holistic approach to memory care

At Heather Glen, we believe that dementia is so much more than just memory loss, which is why our memory care community takes a holistic approach to treat our residents and provide them with the best quality of care. We understand that no two cases of dementia are exactly alike, and we’re happy to provide individualized care for each of our residents to help them thrive.

“Those living with dementia not only experience forgetfulness and memory loss, but they often show changes in the way they think, speak, feel and behave,” Jackie explains. “Because of this, it’s so important to us for our residents to have the resources and support to help them improve or maintain daily living skills and functions. From day one, my team and I thoroughly assess each of our residents and their behaviors to develop an individualized support plan with collaboration from the resident, family, caregivers, and support staff. We observe their patterns—such as when they wake up, how they behave at night, what their food preferences are, what they like to do, what makes them happy and what makes them agitated—and implement personalized plans and strategies to make them feel like a person, rather than a patient. That’s so important to us here at Heather Glen.”

Another thing we recognize is that those living with dementia can become easily overwhelmed, which is why we’ve specially designed our memory care community to create safe, stress-free spaces for our residents. Large spaces can create confusion and distraction when faced with a spacious and loud environment, and because those living with dementia can find relief in quiet, smaller spaces—we provide options for various group sizes and more intimate settings. At Heather Glen, we have four different neighborhoods in our memory care community, each with ten rooms and private areas for dining and gathering. These cozy, condensed spaces allow caregivers to control noise and visual stimulation while minimizing overstimulation and reducing stress.

“Our memory care unit is designed to make our residents feel comfortable, safe and truly at home—down to every detail,” Jackie explains. “Our dimmable lights help our residents feel calm and very in-tune with daily cycles, and our windows with sitting areas provide them with comfort and happiness. We allow our residents to bring in their own furniture and decor to help familiarize them with the community, as well as reminisce on happy memories with loved ones. Our residents love music, so music plays in every neighborhood—and each neighborhood has its own dining area to keep our residents from feeling overwhelmed or confused. Above all else, the entire community is made to feel like a home.”

Putting family first

When it comes time to move your loved one into a memory care community, family involvement is not just nice to have—it’s essential. At Heather Glen, our individualized care plans heavily rely on family input, and the crucial information that loved ones can give helps our caregivers understand more about the patient—but what happens afterward is just as important. 

“We make it our mission here to support and teach the families of our residents about what their loved one is going through. There’s no doubt that family involvement is so crucial, but it’s easy for family members to become overwhelmed or saddened by their loved one’s behavior—which is why we offer support groups and promote frequent communication with the families to help them understand their loved one,” Jackie says. “My entire team and I make sure to check on the family members when they come in, and we offer resources if they’re struggling with anything. The way that we take the time to get to know our residents—we do the exact same for their families. We want to know how their lives are going, what their concerns are, what questions they may have and how we can help. They’re always sure to ask me about my daughter and how things are going for me, as well. We don’t just care for the residents—we care for the families, too.”

Family involvement goes a long way in enhancing the quality of life for our residents, which is why we make sure our families and their loved ones know that they’re not only cared for at Heather Glen—but cared about. We want to know their stories, interests and hobbies to help them maintain their individuality for as long as possible, which is why we focus on programming and activities that promote independence and individuality.

“The families of residents are so invested, our employees are so invested, I’m so invested—everyone is like one big family,” Jackie says. “Through our collaboration with family members and staff, we come up with programming that is centered around each resident. I have a resident who used to play the organ at church, so we’ll let her lead sing-a-long activities. We’ll bring in pets for pet therapy, as well as live music to put a smile on our residents’ faces. We have residents who love to spend time outdoors, so we’ll take them on walks through the courtyard on nice days—and we even have gardening activities, which they love to participate in. We have a resident who loves to do makeup, so we help her do her makeup in front of a mirror every day. We get to know our residents incredibly well, we ask them about their past and what they did for a living to make them feel purposeful and accomplished—because they’re all so much more than their diagnoses. They’re incredible people with amazing stories, and we’re so happy to provide them with a safe space to thrive and live a happy, high-quality life with personalized care.”

Choose a memory care community you can trust

For many families, it can be hard to determine the right time to place a loved one in a memory care community—and it can be just as difficult to find the right place. At Heather Glen Senior Living, our long-term memory care offers intensive, specialized care for people with memory loss in a safe, secure and uplifting environment—and with team members like Jackie by your loved one’s side, you’ll never have to worry about the quality of care they’re receiving.

“I’m truly so grateful to be able to help such wonderful people with memory loss—and I’m so happy to work for a place that values the same things that I value. We look at our residents as if they were family, and we believe in helping them continue having moments that they love throughout life,” Jackie explains. “I’m filled with gratitude to be able to make a difference in our resident’s and their family’s lives, even if it’s just a small one. I hope they know how important they are to me, and I’ll never stop reminding them of that.”

To learn more about our memory care community and everything it has to offer, or to schedule a tour for a closer look, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (610) 841 - 4478 or contact us online at any time. We’re happy to help in any way we can! 

Ask Kim & Jessica