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Special needs residents find loving home at Harbour Pointe Senior Living’s new ‘In the Moment’ support program

Nov 08, 2017
Photo by: Mukilteo Beacon Bob and Trish, residents at Harbour Pointe Senior Living’s new ‘In the Moment’ support program, have become fast friends in the home-like residence. Above, they share Bob’s passion for airplanes in the Memory Care wing’s new courtyard.

Whether it’s the sight of Elvis, the Beatles and other symbols of yesteryear decorating the hallways, the smell of freshly baked cookies drifting through the air, or the sound of Frank Sinatra crooning love songs in the activity center, your senses bring fond memories back to life at Harbour Pointe Senior Living’s new Memory Support community in Mukilteo.

Harbour Pointe Senior Living’s new memory support program is called, In the Moment and is a holistic approach designed to engage residents in unlimited ways throughout the day and night.  In the Moment enriches the lives of residents and their families each moment of every day through expertise combined with compassionate care.  It’s a logical step for existing or new residents who need special care that ensures they will continue to experience the quality of life they’ve always known and enjoyed.

The Memory Support staff has been assembled to provide a holistic, team approach that gives residents the care they need along with the personal attention that affords an opportunity for continued engagement – and happiness – during this journey.

Cheryl Guenther, Executive Director, has been involved with the renovation of Harbour Pointe Senior Living’s first floor to make room for the new In The Moment memory support neighborhood. Whether it’s current residents who already had been enjoying independent or assisted living there, or newly-arrived residents whose loved ones had been caring for them as they travel through their dementia journey, residents will find a newly-remodeled community that’s specially designed to look and feel just like home, Guenther said.

Besides Guenther, the Executive Director, the Memory Support team includes a Health and Wellness Director/RN, a Memory Support Director, Resident Care Coordinator, and specially trained certified nurse aides and medication technicians.

The team recently received a “memory grant” through Washington Foundation to become a MUSIC & MEMORY Certified Care Organization – Music & Memory is a planned and thoughtful approach to using music to enhance quality of life for people with dementia and memory loss.

In addition, they also bring in a storyteller, certified through the internationally-renowned TimeSlips program that infuses creativity into care relationships and systems. Founded by author and MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship recipient Anne Basting, TimeSlips uses improvisation and creative drama techniques that are so powerful they have proven helpful for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, bringing meaning to late life through creative engagement.

“The whole idea is to use therapeutic modalities like music and art to engage all the senses,” Guenther said, “to help people who have different levels of dementia.”

Take Bob, for example, a one-time crop duster and commercial airline pilot who enjoys being out in the new courtyard where he can see and hear planes from nearby Paine Field, or test his own model planes that he keeps in his personal “memory box.” Each resident has his or her own memory box, which could include drawings, photos, books or other various items that are of particular interest to its owner.

Susan Rife, the Memory Support Director, has gotten to know Bob’s background, his personality, his likes and dislikes – as she and the other staff do with all the residents so that they can plan programs and activities and, of course, one-on-one attention.

Not surprisingly, Rife said, “We get really attached to residents and their families.”

Residents get attached to each other as well. When they gather at mealtime in the newly-remodeled dining room, if one of them isn’t there, others are quick to inquire.

The Memory Care neighborhood at Harbour Pointe Senior Living offers an easy transition for residents who already have been living there as an independent or assisted living resident.

But it’s likewise a welcoming and comfortable transition for new residents who can no longer live on their own and whose loved ones can’t provide them with the time and care they need during this last journey of their life.

In fact, through collaboration with Providence Regional Medical Center, HP Senior Living also offers a hospice program so that residents can choose end-of-life care “at home” when the time comes.

“It’s a tremendous benefit for residents, their families and the staff, so you don’t have to uproot someone,” Guenther said. “Research shows that moving them can sometimes shorten lives, so we like to provide the care and support to them as long as we have the resources.

“Everybody here bonds. It’s like a second family.”

That’s why so much attention has been paid to designing a home-like atmosphere, from the brightly colored common areas – the dining room, activities center, seating areas and other gathering points – to the apartments themselves. Residents and their families will find a comfortable, welcoming residence.

The newly-built courtyard offers a park-like atmosphere for residents like Bob who enjoy wandering a bit and breathing in some fresh, Northwest air.

Apartments range from studios to one- and two-bedroom units that can meet the personal and financial needs of residents.

The official grand opening of Harbour Pointe Senior Living’s Memory Care wing is December 1st.  Interested families are welcome to arrange a tour and discuss options for their loved one.

On any particular day, you can expect to find residents gathered in the kitchen enjoying freshly baked bread, playing music or sharing stories – just the kind of activities one would expect to find going on at any warm, comfortable and welcoming home.

For more information, contact Harbour Pointe Senior Living, 10200 Harbour Pl., Mukilteo, at 425-493-8555.


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