Innovative Memory Treatment for Seniors: The SimpleC Companion

At one time or another, most of us have been told, “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way,” or, “Focus on the future.” But for some people, looking back is the only way to move forward. Our memories are very special to us in our lifetime, and for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia, long term memory is often the most solid form of recollection available. The farther one goes into the past, the stronger the memory can become.

SimpleC monitorWith this in mind, Dominion Senior Living enables residents to gain a fresh opportunity for memory recollection and cognitive enhancement through a computer called The SimpleC Companion. The SimpleC is described as “a wellness coach that promotes independence, engages memory, and supports positive living in seniors of every level of cognition.” This unique device is custom designed to fit each resident’s past and current lifestyle with the touch of the computer screen.

A SimpleC Care Specialist will collect stories and information from family, friends, or caregivers to develop the resident’s personalized story. The story or outline may include music they listened to in the 1950’s, a favorite sermon from the church they attended for years, or multiple photos of them growing up, or of their grandchildren. The particular story can play every morning while the resident is waking up and going about their daily routine, at night just before going to sleep, or any time in between. The multi-media library is extensive and capable of changing or adjusting to each resident’s needs.

SimpleC provides a way of staying in touch with one’s memories, and allows the resident to see and hear what their schedule is for the day. A list of the day’s activities can be displayed on the monitor while a loved one’s voice says them audibly. The schedule is created specifically for each resident and what they have need of. Announcements or words of encouragement can also be spoken from the front desk to each room to motivate the resident. The SimpleC Companion can help improve a resident’s participation in activities, nutrition, and even sleep quality. Overall, this great piece of technology acts to promote the resident’s quality of life on a daily basis.

The SimpleC Companion has not only been developed and tested for years, but has also been supported by several academic institutions, including Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology. Dominion Senior Living is the first in the region to make SimpleC available to each resident, and is just one of the innovations we use to provide the best care possible.

For those suffering from memory impairment, looking to the past is a form of therapy that possibly nothing else can offer. Through the use of technology, SimpleC provides our residents with a more solid hope for the future—all by mining the riches of the past.

Local Photography Helps Residents with Memory Retention

WBIR Channel 10 recently did a news story on Dominion Senior Living of Sevierville. The feature focuses on the community’s use of local art to aid residents in maintaining certain cognitive abilities. This is just one example of how we attempt to use a thoughtfully designed environment to care for the members of our community. You can watch the full story below.

The original video can be found on WBIR’s site here.

Fulfilling a Mission through Healthcare

healthcare, doctorIf you stop by any of the Dominion Senior Living communities, or even visit the website, one detail you will notice is the dedication to honor God by serving the residents. This service takes place in a variety of forms: caring for the residents physically, emotionally, and spiritually, providing a stable environment, a sense of security, belonging and purpose, and seeing that residents receive the best and most effective care possible. One of the ways Dominion fulfills its mission is through coordination of great medical care.

The physician partner of Dominion Senior Living is Dr. Eric Hasemeier, who has lived and served Sevier County, TN for 22 years. The field of geriatrics is not uncommon in Tennessee, but Dr. Hasemeier is the only geriatrician currently dedicated to Sevier County. Dr. Hasemeier says his goal is “to give the best quality of life for the patient’s individual stage of life.” For him, that means taking a different approach to medical care.

First, Dr. Hasemeier starts from scratch with the patient, finding out all he can about their medical history. He does not assume that what everyone else was doing is right, which may mean he pour over medical records, lab tests, or MRIs.

Second, Dr. Hasemeier feels it is always crucial that he share his diagnosis with the patient and their family because “families just want the best for their loved ones and don’t want to be out of the loop.”

Another rarity one will find in an assisted living facility is 24/7 access to healthcare. Dr. Hasemeier and the Dominion staff are dedicated to providing their residents with the utmost attention and care possible. When a resident feels ill the physician and community staff are able to get to them speedily and provide care that day. After care is administered, the physician staff will make monthly rounds to each resident’s room, checking in and adjusting medications as needed. According to Dr. Hasemeier, “This is unheard of in the industry. Usually it’s a visit every three to six months.” The medical team, of course, consists of specialists in geriatrics especially dealing with Alzheimer’s and memory care.

Having the staff of physicians on site provides convenience for the residents in that they don’t have to be transported to another location, possibly wait for an extended period of time, and risk being exposed to a number of illnesses. Dr. Hasemeier also described other benefits of coming to the patient rather than having the patient go to him. He knows, from experience, that the patients are better taken care of when they are in their own environment. If he can go to their home, see their routine and how they live and interact with others, he is better able to administer care and visit the patient more frequently. Although not in a hospital, the staff of Dominion Senior Living is equipped with everything they need for a quality assessment of each patient. Dr. Hasemeier pointed out that in the instant world we live in, healthcare via the phone is common, but he is trying to break that cycle and arrange proper exams and assessments.

Providing quality of life is of utmost importance to the entire staff of Dominion Senior Living. They believe that if they can care for each resident to the best of their ability, then the resident will be able to maintain the highest quality of life for as long as the Lord allows. By ministering to the community of residents through coordination of excellent medical services, Dominion Senior Living is indeed fulfilling its mission verse: “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged” (Leviticus 19:32).

photo credit: Alex E. Proimos via photopin cc

Better Than Fireworks on the 4th

American flag and fireworksLast week we celebrated Independence Day, a holiday in which we commemorate the official adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Americans celebrated by participating in family-friendly activities such as barbeques, time at the lake, and, of course, fireworks!

Many of us equate Independence Day with patriotism as we proudly display our American flags in a variety of manners and sing along to The Star Spangled Banner. Some feel it is simply another day, while others feel a strong sense of pride and remembrance.

Many, if not most, senior adult men fought in the military so we could enjoy our various freedoms and holidays as we see fit. For them, last week’s celebration wasn’t just another day.

Senior men and women alike remember war times as both great and horrible. However, most of them enjoy reminiscing about those days. While they may have difficulty remembering something that happened yesterday, they often can tell you, in great detail, what happened on that special day many years ago.

National holidays are a great reason to gather around the patriarch or matriarch of your family and listen to stories of simpler times. Today’s generation may not even know the history of how America gained the freedoms we take for granted. This is even more incentive for us children and grandchildren to spend time with our elders and learn a thing or two about honesty, integrity, and generosity—the very principles on which our great nation was founded in 1776.

Although July 4th has come and gone, we can still take time to sit with an older loved one and glean great insights about the past. We may never know how much they enjoy us asking questions and contently listening. It may even be better than fireworks.

photo credit: Muffet via photopin cc

Fulfilling a Mission in Johnson City

Construction of the new Dominion Senior Living community in Johnson City is underway!

Ground on which the facility will be built was dedicated on April 30. Owners and managers of Dominion Development, Empire Construction, and Dominion Senior Living gathered at the construction site to pray and covenant with God to honor Him throughout all phases of building, developing and serving at the site.

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During the dedication, each person wrote a prayer and placed it inside a Bible to be buried in a box within the building’s foundation. It will become a permanent part of the building—an abiding presence and reminder of the mission of Dominion Senior Living: “To honor God through service to seniors.”

“We asked for God’s blessing to be upon the lives of the people we will employ here and upon the people we will care for here,” said Joshua Crisp, Vice President of Dominion Management Group, who is managing all Dominion Senior Living communities.

It’s an exciting milestone!


Dominion Senior Living of Johnson City is located at 2412 Knob Creek Road, Johnson City, TN 37604.