I placed my 90-year-old mother with Inspirational Living one month ago. I would be a liar to say that I didn’t have some trepidation about the move. She had been in two other Memory Care facilities: both were okay but neither was able to provide the level of care she desperately required. In fact, the last facility literally pushed her out saying, “Inspirational Living is the best place for someone with her needs,” because they “couldn’t deal with her.” It turns out they were right: Inspirational Living is the best place for her.
My mom is a “sundowner‚” she gets agitated when the day is ending and tries to escape the confines of her room (and the facility), sometimes with force. At IL the courtyard is HUGE and she is able to go outside whenever she likes. Knowing she can “get out” at will and sit under the open sky has been very effective in giving her a sense of control and safety. Of course, there is a 12-foot fence to the south that makes escape impossible! The wrist bracelet she wears 24/7 is part of the Skynet location network used to keep track of her inside and out.
Inside the facility, my first impression was “modern” and “clean.” Hallways are wide and well-lit. The building interior is a basic U‚ which makes for three corridors that creates both a feeling of spaciousness and a sense of community as residents interact on their way to their many daily activities. There are memory boxes by each resident’s room door and many reproductions of LIFE magazine and Saturday Evening Post covers are prominent: some residents use the magazine cover wall art to locate their rooms.
Dementia care is one of the most difficult end-of-life services in which to find quality, particularly in the level of staffing. We have been blessed at IL with experienced caregivers who are empathic and professional. They know how to cope with mom’s fragmented memory and are soothing when she becomes confused or agitated. You can tell by the look on mom’s face when they engage her one-to-one that she feels like she is both important and wanted. I was surprised how quickly staff learned her name and remembered enough about her patient history information to have personal conversations with her almost immediately.
One only has to examine the constant stream of photos and videos of the residents that are available on IL’s Facebook and Internet pages to see just how seriously staff members take their jobs of interacting with the residents. I’ve been able to see part of her new life that I didn’t know existed.
I have to give props to a few staff that have stood out in the past month: Eli, who can get ANYTHING hung on the wall of the residences in seemingly seconds; Digger, who is a constant source of sunshine in the lives of our loved ones, keeping them involved and moving; Jill, who pulls some incredible rabbits out of her hat when it comes to planning interesting, engaging activities for the residents; Debbie, who oversees our parent’s medical/health needs; Phil, who works with the kitchen staff to generate food that is both fun and fabulously tasty; Michele, the Executive Director who’s not afraid to get out of her office and dance with the residents; and especially James, who is the first person in ALL of our experiences with my mother’s dementia who knew EXACTLY how to talk to and interact with my mother, giving her a level of calmness and peace that I had not seen since my father died in 2018. He is the main reason that we chose IL as the place where my mother would enjoy her remaining days in safety and peace.
I’m sorry that Kate Midden (below) apparently had a bad experience, but I have not seen an iota of the problems mentioned. In our family’s experience, every facet of Inspirational Living has been exemplary, from the staff to the facility itself.
In closing, I think the finest compliment I can pay them is that if I ever require the level of care that my mom is receiving, I know I will get it at Inspirational Living.
Dr. Gary Herbeck