Though the mother’s care provider is not named, the daughter’s sentiments do reinforce the fundamental goal of Eskaton’s approach to caring for individuals suffering the devilish manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease.
Webster’s defines empathy as “the ability to share in another’s emotions, thoughts or feelings.” In Eskaton’s “Dawn of a New Day” Memory Care, an empathic approach distinguishes the commitment of its caregivers who:
§ Make personal connections with residents.
§ Engage residents in activities that promote self-expression and cognitive challenges.
§ Partner with families; and provide support and regular communication.
§ Respect the physical environment of individuals and the community.
“The success of Eskaton’s Dawn of a New Day program is based on establishing very personal connections between our residents and our care team,” explains Teri Tift, Eskaton’s director of quality and compliance. “This is why we place a great deal of significance on recruiting, training and retaining staff who inherently and intentionally embrace this empathic approach.”
Eskaton also engages memory care residents in very unique ways. The Kids Connection buddies residents with local elementary school children who make regular visits; ARTZ: Artists for Alzheimer’s helps residents explore their creativity; and urban gardens provide individuals with a constant, growing sense of purpose.
Empathy in memory care is about discovery. Not finding what is lost, because that may never be found; but rather about seeking new ways to communicate, connect and not condescend.