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Fountain View Holds Memory Care Open House

After two years in operation, the memory care neighborhood at Fountain View, Friendship Village Sunset Hills’ assisted living community, will open for an afternoon of tours and questions as well as an exploration of activities for memory care residents.

From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 15, Fountain View administrators invite the public to visit the memory care neighborhood and learn how the neighborhood manages resident confusion and assures personal safety for those with memory issues. 

More than 110,000 Missourians live with Alzheimer’s disease, so Fountain View’s memory care neighborhood, when it opened in July, 2013, proved much needed.  Nationally, the St. Louis Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association expects the number with Alzheimer’s disease to spike to 16 million by 2050.

“This disease places heavy burdens on families and individual caregivers,” Nicole Summers, Fountain View residency counselor, said.

“With our professional experience, we at Fountain View want to help the local community navigate the process of dealing with memory care.  We believe education, interaction and resources play an essential part in making informed decisions about memory care.   That’s what this open house is all about,” she said.

Fountain View’s memory care neighborhood, constructed from existing assisted living apartments, consists of 9 one-bedroom apartments with sitting room, walk-in closet, shower and kitchenette and one studio apartment with two small closets, kitchenette and shower, all near a large communal country kitchen and living room.

“We provide private space and make the community living situation conducive to those with memory loss who often find a larger community daunting,” Summers said.

In a larger community residents with memory loss can begin to withdraw.  “That’s an early an early warning sign.”

Aside from safety, security and a manageable environment for its residents, the neighborhood provides a professionally trained staff and a specialized memory care program.

“Residents help with everyday tasks in a close family environment.  To ease transitions, the staff works a 12-hour shift so whoever greets residents in the morning stays with them all day.  Consistency and familiarity help with memory problems,” Summers said.

Program activities range from exercise classes, reminiscence, bingo and card games, art and musical therapy and more. “Although the staff sets a calendar, in the memory care neighborhood, we respond flexibly and spontaneously to residents’ wishes.”

In the communal kitchen, baking can sometimes prompt discussions of rearing a family including the fun and challenge of providing for them. Walking often spurs talk of the landscape, hunting and gardening.

Residents interface with the larger Fountain View community through church and entertainment options while fresh air comes from a shuttered balcony in the neighborhood enlivened by plants and greenery and from the pastoral setting of the 58-acre campus of Friendship Village Sunset Hills and Fountain View Assisted Living.

Refreshments and doors prizes will highlight the afternoon open house.