We know when having a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other related memory loss, daily life is often filled with difficult and challenging experiences. In fact, our dedication to seniors with memory loss started when our founder, Jerry Erwin’s own mother Margaret developed Alzheimer’s disease. Margaret lived with the disease for over 7 years. Soon after her passing, Jerry and his extended family realized there was a tremendous need for specialized dementia care. Having worked in the retirement and assisted-living industry for over 20 years, Jerry knew there needed to be a place with an approach to care that was different from anything else out there.
Based on their own experience knowing the best moments with Margaret came from seemingly the smallest of joys, the Erwin family came to realize it was the combination of uniquely personalized care within high-quality facilities that would make all the difference. In 1993, after months of drawing and redrawing plans and looking at every aspect that he could, Jerry and his extended family built his first dedicated memory care community in Tumwater, WA. This was the first of a long line of successful developments built with the love and understanding of the dementia care model that still exists today.
As partners in care, JEA communities work together with residents and families to build an individualized plan that supports their independence while providing them with the sense of belonging that is so important to all of us. This is an essential part of making them feel comfortable in their environment and truly adds meaning and value to their lives. It is for this reason, we take the time to learn each resident’s life story. Where did they grow up? Childhood highlights? Special talents or abilities? Where did their adult life take them? What were they passionate about? It’s important we get to know who residents are and what they love, to be able to create moments that are meaningful to them personally.
This quote is a great example of what we aim to achieve every day at each JEA Senior Living memory care centers.
“We have a chance every day to truly make a difference in our residents’ quality of life. Even if we only reach them for a moment, make them smile, make them feel safe and loved, it is all worth it.” – Lauren Potter
Lauren is the Program Director & Mentor at Quail Ridge Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Bartlett, Tennessee.