Pella Chronicle

Local News

March 12, 2014

Older adults who need memory support thrive at The Cottages

Individual Lifestyle Plans Reflect Residents’ Interests, Strengthen Mind, Body and Spirit

Several residents of the Zeeland Assisted Living Memory Support community at The Cottages are night owls. They gather in the community area most evenings to sip hot cocoa and assemble puzzles. By the smiles on their faces, you can see they are enjoying each other’s company as they share stories about their experiences on Iowa farms.

“Many of our residents found their previous homes to be somewhat isolating,” says Jennifer West, Hearthstone Assisted Living Director. “During the day, they would sit alone with nothing to do and get anxious. And at night, they would feel lost and lonely. Here, they are really thriving and have come alive again.”

The Zeeland community at The Cottages is a housing alternative for older adults who may need help with medications, dressing and bathing, but do not require intensive medical and nursing services. This community was specifically designed to support independence, health and well-being of people who are in the early stages of memory loss.

It is here that Helen Vander Waal and other residents have found a welcoming new home, thanks to Hearthstone, a Ministry of WesleyLife.

“At first, it was different and I was a little homesick,” says Vander Waal. “But now, I just love all the things we get to do, all the activities, all the places we go. I love being involved.”

It is connection and involvement that are the keys to health and happiness of the residents, says Connie Boat, Lifestyles Coordinator.

“You really see their eyes light up when they embrace activities and spend time with one another,” says Boat. “We provide an exercise class in the morning and encourage games like dominos, Yahtzee and Scattergories. We also have guests come in to play music or sing. These activities provide a foundation for the residents to build strong, meaningful relationships which lead to more fulfilled lives.”

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