Mimi Piciullo, the executive director says Juniper Glen Assisted Living and Memory Care is intentionally designed specifically for people that are living with dementia. She says it is a very cruel disease, and they have very unique needs, so unlike many other communities that were assisted living designed suddenly to become memory care, we have always been designed to care for those with dementia and they have unique needs.
At Juniper Glen Assisted Living and Memory Care they have a sensory spa. Mimi says that is the coolest thing and it is a new feature that we have. It’s focused on tapping into triggering your five senses so taste, aroma, touch, like soft blankets, weighted blankets, and there is a virtual reality to take you to local places you’ve been to before or like the ocean or a lake or the Thousand Islands; something they can program into it. She says they have a spa room that they created so if someone is having a hard day, or they just need a little something extra they can bring them into the sensory spa and tap into some of these senses and hopefully trigger some of those positive endorphins.
What is the element that makes you most proud to be a part of this community? Mimi says what really all comes down to is the team. She says families sometimes are very sensitive when a resident has a behavior or does something they would not have ever done if they didn’t have dementia and families are very shocked and appalled, but we know these are things that are part of the disease and we love them and help them through it and we give them those good days even when these challenging things are happening. She goes on to say it’s just part of their day and we know they are not giving us a hard time; they are just having a hard time and we are helping them work through those things and this team is rocking it; they are loving on these residents and having fun. One of the fun things they do is dancing before dinner and they have disco music, and everyone is out dancing and having fun. She says they use it more and more because so much of our joy and fun times go back to our memories from when we were a child and we all have those songs that are like, that’s my song don’t change the channel, and they can tap into that with their residents.
Mimi says for years she counselled families with a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementias and she recently lost her father last year from Alzheimer’s. She says “not only did I work it every day but I experienced myself and the first time he forgot who I was, it was like oh, it is such a hard hit, and so I am empathic to what families are managing and dealing with..” Mimi says it is a very, very cruel disease and very cruel process and we are a safe, loving place for their loved one to experience those days.
For more information give them a call at 716-293-2918 or visit sunshineretirementliving.com/juniper-glen