Combining Montessori methods, Sensory Spas, MIND Diet, and Virtual Reality to Improve Memory Care Residents’ Quality of Life
BEND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sunshine Retirement Living, a family-owned business with 34 senior communities in 16 states, today announces an expanded rollout of its wellness program supporting memory care residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Currently piloting in 15 memory care locations, the holistic, Montessori-style program comprises pioneering therapies and amenities including Sensory Spas, the MIND Diet, circadian rhythm light therapy, ionized air filtering, and Virtual Reality therapy to improve residents’ quality of life.
“By 2030, one in five Americans, or 73 million total people will be over the age of 65, therefore it is more important than ever to establish best practices that maintain quality of life. Our new life enrichment program allows seniors to immerse themselves in mind, body and soul experiences that support their overall health and wellness in a holistic, safe and comfortable way,” said Luis Serrano, CEO of Sunshine Retirement Living. “Through our new research-based wellness program, we are able to implement innovative therapies and interactive experiences that not only help our seniors, especially those with memory-related diseases, thrive to the best of their abilities, but also have fun too.”
Sunshine’s new robust Life Enrichment Program features:
Montessori-style Care: Sunshine’s Montessori-rooted approach to dementia care provides sensory and cognitive stimulation to help residents reconnect memories, relearn skills, and revisit positive emotions to help reduce anxiety. While the Montessori method was initially developed for early childhood education, Sunshine has modified the program to honor the age and experiences of its residents.
Sensory Spa: Originally piloted at Copper Canyon Memory Care in Tucson, Arizona, the new Sunshine Sensory Spa features stimulation therapies that help encourage emotions and reveal memories in those experiencing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Sunshine invests in sensory experiences for their proven mood-boosting effects, such as relaxation rooms with sound baths for calming meditations.
MIND Diet-Based Dining: The MIND Diet program, recommended by Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, inspired Sunshine’s 24/7 Dining Program which encourages eating vegetables, berries, nuts, fish, and other brain-healthy foods to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. Executive Chef Gustavo Castano trains each community chef to prepare MIND Diet-based meals and accommodate any dietary restrictions.
Virtual Reality Program: With cutting-edge Oculus VR headsets and special software programs, residents can choose from a variety of virtual experiences which can help uncover fond and distant memories or improve socialization when participating with others. Popular armchair travel at Sunshine communities include going on an African safari, swimming with sharks, sky diving, visiting the Cleveland Zoo and San Diego Zoo, driving down Route 66, and touring The White House.
Circadian Lighting and Ionized Air Filtering: Residents at The Verandah at Graywood in Lake Charles, Louisiana benefit from circadian rhythm wellness throughout the community through the installation of Wala lighting. Overhead lights adjust to simulate sunshine, which either suppresses melatonin levels for elevated activity and alertness during “daytime,” or increases melatonin levels triggering relaxation and sleepiness during “nighttime.” At all other Sunshine Memory Care communities, families can request circadian rhythm devices such as alarm clocks that dim or brighten depending on their daily rhythms, further supporting their ongoing light therapy. In addition, ionized air filtering systems by Air Knight are being piloted at multiple Sunshine communities and have been proven in studies to reduce COVID-19 and Staphylococcus pathogens, improve air quality and safely remove allergens and irritants.
Sunshine has memory care communities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Each community offers a Family Support Program offering educational events and support meetings for caregivers and family members. This support group facilitates conversations about breakthroughs in therapy, updates in care, or any other needs to family members, and even assists with scheduling virtual calls or in-person meetings for residents.
For more information or to find a community near you, please visit www.sunshineretirementliving.com.
About Sunshine Retirement Living
Based in Bend, Oregon, Sunshine Retirement Living manages 34 communities across the United States, offering senior apartments, independent living, assisted living, and memory care. A family-owned business with over 20 years in the industry, Sunshine’s mission is to exceed residents’ expectations by offering value, choice and independence while promoting health and social interaction that and enriches both resident and staffs’ lives. By providing meals, housekeeping, activities, transportation, utilities and in-house management staff, Sunshine continues to build an unparalleled sense of belonging at each community. For more information, visit www.sunshineretirementliving.com connect with us on Facebook.
Director or Marketing
Sunshine Retirement Living