“New Possibilities in Memory Care: The Silverado Story”

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A Unique Journey, Bringing Dignity, Care and Quality-of-Life to Memory Care

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We are excited to share what our team has learned over the past 20 years, and how families and their loved ones can benefit from that knowledge.

A newly released book, “New Possibilities in Memory Care: The Silverado Story,” by Loren Shook and Stephen Winner, is the remarkable story of the Silverado journey in the field of long term care for the memory impaired. Founded by Shook, Winner and the late Jim Smith, Silverado has grown to become a national leader driven by a vision to change the way the world cares for people with cognitive decline. “New Possibilities in Memory Care” tells the story of how their unique and innovative approach offers the memory impaired, the dignity, care and quality of life they deserve.

Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive disease of the brain.  The number of people age 65+ with dementia will increase more than 40% in the United States during the coming decade, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Although there is no cure, new studies show there are techniques and methods to enhance the quality of life and slow the progression of the disease.

Silverado’s Nexus Program:

Research has identified six modifiable lifestyle factors that have shown to slow the progression of dementia and even delay it onset. Two years ago, Silverado launched Nexus, a unique program for early-stage dementia residents based on these findings.  The components of the program, which are described in the book, are proving to slow the progression and ease the symptoms of dementia. 

Nexus, the Latin word for “connection,” is designed to create connections in the brain by combining science and social engagement. Brain building components in the Silverado Nexus program consists of 20 hours a week of activities including regular exercise to increase blood flow to the brain, stress reduction activities, specialized digital programs, purposeful social activities, cognitive exercise, and support groups to reduce depression, improve quality of life and build self-esteem.

Using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), recognized industry-wide as a method of monitoring progression in Alzheimer’s Disease, Silverado has documented the improvement in Nexus residents by as much as 4 or 5 points on the 30-point scale. Even the best medication available only moves someone 1 to 2 points, and that benefit lasts no longer than three to six months. Nexus, is showing evidence of more lasting effects.

“We like to say that the side effect of Nexus is quality of life. Nexus, combined with the engagement-rich environment we provide our Silverado residents, enhances cognitive level and can slow the progression of the disease,” explains Shook.

New Possibilities in Memory Care is a tool to tell the story of what quality of life can be with a memory-impairing disease. Central to the Silverado philosophy is the concept of love, acceptance and purpose.

“People living with a memory impairment never lose the desire to love and be loved. The book explains the Silverado approach to memory care and offers hope to families affected by Alzheimer’s and other memory impairing conditions. It was also written to help educate the healthcare community about what’s possible in memory care and address some of the problems often faced by people who work with those affected by a memory impairing disease,” Shook said.

The book includes a collection of resident stories — successes that have resulted from being in the Silverado environment, where a unique culture of love exists and residents are encouraged to connect with their past by pursuing whatever it is that has mattered most to them in life.

“We are excited to share what our team has learned over the past 20 years, and how families and their loved ones can benefit from that knowledge,” says Shook. “New Possibilities in Memory Care also speaks to the stigma of the disease, broadening the discussion about how it affects children and families. In addition, it addresses end of life matters,” he notes.

Founded in 1996, Silverado has 36 memory care communities throughout the United States as well as affiliations with top researchers and universities. Silverado is focused toward enriching the quality of life for clients, residents, patients, their families and its associates. Silverado recognizes the value of the human spirit and believes that memory impairment and other chronic or acute conditions do not mean the end of a purposeful, rich life.

For more information or to purchase a copy on Amazon, visit: https://www.silverado.com/features/the-silverado-story.

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David Gill
Silverado
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