Tampa Bay Residents Embrace a New Approach to Treating Dementia Patients

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Ivy Ridge Living introduces new technology and a new approach to caring for dementia patients in the Tampa Bay area.

The concept behind Ivy Ridge Living is that we will be helping people with dementia, live social and active lives without the over-use of medications.

Raymond Kegebein was in his late 80’s when it began.

“Sometimes he would throw important mail in the garbage or forget what era it was when we mentioned a four dollar gallon of milk,” says Nicholette Davis, about her stepfather Raymond, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

Raymond is one of the approximately 34,000 Pinellas county residents currently diagnosed with dementia; and he is the first male resident in a new state-of-the-art memory care building, which recently opened in St. Petersburg, Fl.

The multi-million dollar building, located in the Tyrone area of Pinellas County, was designed specifically to meet the needs of people who are battling dementia. Paint and lighting variances throughout the building help residents navigate with less confusion and unusually brightly colored walls also help cheer residents, who are often experiencing vision changes associated with dementia.

“Technology plays an important role, as a non-drug therapy which helps residents at Ivy Ridge feel comfortable and happy,” says Executive Director Delane Ward, who has been helping people live with dementia for the past twenty years.

“If I could have anything back, I would just like to see Raymond gaze at my mother with the love and adoration he had, before he forgot about their relationship,” adds step-daughter Nicholette. “I hope that the SimpleC companion in his room helps him remember her, as well as his children, and grandchildren on a daily basis.”

Nicholette is referring to a technology not currently used elsewhere in Tampa Bay. A non-drug therapy in every room at Ivy Ridge, called the SimpleC Companion.

“Through use of a touch screen computer in each resident’s room, loved ones can create and deliver personalized programs, which help residents remember their lives and prepare for a pleasant day in a variety of ways,” says Howard Bradley, Account Executive with SimpleC, LLC.

The possibilities are endless, but options include: personalized programs to introduce nurses before they arrive to remove dentures at night, announcements of up-coming meals, or simply playing a resident’s favorite music at bedtime; all things which help reduce the anxiety and distress caused by memory loss. The need for behavior or sleep medications can be reduced or even eliminated.

In Raymond’s case, the 91-year old veteran will view pictures that remind him of the purple-heart he earned during the Battle of Normandy, photos of his days as a police officer in Lansing Illinois, and various photos of his 7 children and 10 grandchildren. He will also hear recordings of his families’ voices with a variety of messages, including a goodnight wish.

“We looked for so many places for dad to live, but the atmosphere and general level of care that was available kept us from moving him out on his own,” adds Nicholette. “When we finally found Ivy Ridge, we were thrilled with the smell, large rooms, cheerful colors, delicious food and caring staff and we knew dad wouldn’t be frightened there.”

Residents at Ivy Ridge benefit greatly from a keyless locking system which allows them to get out and about without having to worry about remembering to lock-up behind themselves. They can participate in classes like yoga or arts and crafts, or they can visit the salon or spa. Plus, each resident enjoys a private room.

For more information on Ivy Ridge, please visit http://www.IvyRidgeLiving.com or call 727-490-3233. Ivy Ridge is located at 7179 40th Ave N in St Petersburg, Florida.

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Michael Hutsenpiller
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