National Assisted Living Week: “The Magic of Music”

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Last week, Dominion Senior Living celebrated National Assisted Living Week. It was a time filled with entertainment, fun, and a chance for family and friends to visit and see what life is like for the residents. Every year since 1995, the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) comes up with a great theme to give seniors something extra fun to look forward to. This year’s theme was “The Magic of Music.”

According to the NCAL, “The transformational effect of music continues as individuals age and can provide joy, comfort and in some cases, memories long ago experienced.” This past week, residents got to participate in a variety of activities: making musical instruments, dressing in their favorite 1950s attire, and attending a sock hop.

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Official proclamation for Dominion Senior Living

One day in particular was meaningful for the residents and staff at Dominion. On Wednesday, September 10, Tennessee State Representative Dale Carr stopped by to give a proclamation for National Assisted Living Week. In keeping with this year’s theme, Mr. Carr joined several of the residents in singing a few hymns before he spoke. He then read the proclamation, which praised Dominion for its “extraordinary professionalism” and “outstanding record of high quality care.”

Representative Carr shared how much Dominion Senior Living at Sevierville meant to him personally, seeing as how he has family members who live here. When asked what sets Dominion apart from other senior living centers, he answered that it was “its friendliness, attention to detail, and willingness to conform to basic needs.” He also noted that all its services are supervised and handled onsite.

The proclamation ceremony only lasted a couple of minutes, and Mr. Carr spent most of his time visiting and talking with the residents. He appreciates this year’s theme of music because “it helps with reminiscing and keeps the residents more alert.” The event wrapped up with a resident playing selections on the dining hall piano.

You could consider National Assisted Living Week a success because of the reading of the proclamation, or because of the uniqueness of the sock hop and other events. You might consider it a success because of the smiles on the faces of residents who know they live in an extraordinary and outstanding community. Or maybe this year’s “Magic of Music” week was a success simply because Dominion Senior Living always strives to hit the right note!

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Providing a Season of Rest for Those Who Have Labored

Labor_Day_2014Labor Day can serve purpose in different ways to different people. For some, it’s a day to be off work or school and on the lake. For others, it’s the unofficial end of the summer season and the last day for the pool. Still yet, for some it’s a day to simply rest from all of the time and labor they have put in over the past year.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day was established in 1882 as “a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” No matter how it is spent, Labor Day has always been dedicated to those who have served and worked to make our nation what it is today, and usually rest is involved.

At Dominion Senior Living, every day is like Labor Day. Not in the sense that the residents take a trip to the pool, but for the fact that their time at Dominion is a season of rest from the years of labor they have given to provide for their loved ones. These senior adults are the very people who poured their energy and efforts into their chosen line of work and contributed to America’s great state. Dominion provides every resident with wonderful living quarters, but more importantly, amazing care from a staff with the heart to serve those who have served us.

Just because this is a season of rest for Dominion’s residents doesn’t mean they are bored or sleep the whole day. In fact, it is just the opposite! Each senior adult has their own daily schedule based on their healthcare needs. They also have ample opportunity for activities, social interaction, games, and other great events to keep them active and alert. Their individual schedule may need to remain consistent each day, but you can bet there are a few fun Labor Day activities planned every year. This season of life should be enjoyable for the residents because, after all, they put in years of hard work and service and deserve the break. Guests, family, and friends are always encouraged to stop in for a visit to help brighten someone’s day, too.

Just as this holiday serves as a way to bless the hard-working society of our nation, Dominion Senior Living strives to bless the great people of the Southeast for their many years of dedicated labor. This year, as you enjoy Labor Day, take a minute to thank a senior adult for their dedication and service to this country. As you enjoy this holiday, remember the true reason we take a day off work.

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).

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