Meaningful Moments Cornerstones: Individualized Programming

man embracing woman on top of hill

Each person is special, unique and unlike any other in the world. As individuals, we know that a one-size-fits-all approach seldom works, especially when it comes to crafting engaging activities and programming for our diverse group of residents.

This is why we developed our Meaningful Moments® program. To provide individualized programming and life enrichment for each of our residents based on their life story and personal preferences.

We start by learning all that we can about our residents – their passions, achievements, careers, family, hobbies and interests. Each life story allows our team members to develop an individual and custom care plan while creating moments of delight, wonder and meaning for our residents in their care every day.

One of our communities that excels in the cornerstone of Individualized Programming is Sugar Creek Alzheimer’s Special Care Center.

At Sugar Creek, the Programming Team provides engagement activities and outings for all interests and levels of acuity. From monthly birthday celebrations, to whipping up tasty baked goods, visits from therapy animals and outings to restaurants – Sugar Creek residents enjoy entertainment and life enrichment each and every day.

Sugar Creek Administrator, Crystal Biddle, shared what Meaningful Moments® means to her personally and how this translates to residents and family members:

Meaningful Moments is our way of connecting with our residents on a more personal level. We use information from our resident’s Life Story to gain trust, build relationships with them and create experiences that delight them.

These Meaningful Moments often give our residents a sense of purpose and control in their day to day activities. For our families it allows them to know that their loved one is content, actively participating, and enjoying themselves.

Patty, our Programming Director, takes special interest in each of our residents. She has a team of staff members, interns and volunteers who allow us to offer more individualized activities for residents. At least two times a week we take a scenic drive or go for a trip. We attend everything from the McLean County Fair, Christmas at the Courthouse, Festival of Trees, Radar Family Farm, Sugar Grove Nature Center, dine out at local favorite restaurants and visit scenic locations for picnics. We have an old theater in town and 8 residents are going to be attending a classic movie there in a couple of weeks.

Individualized Programming is more than just providing life enrichment and engaging activities; it’s about providing structure and guiding someone’s day, while also delivering care based on a resident’s past routines and preferences. With purposeful engagement, we have seen many of our residents quickly settle-in and feel at home in a JEA community.

Sugar Creek Program Director, Patrizia Brady shared this story of a resident who experienced just that level of care and attention:

Our most memorable Meaningful Moment was created for a resident who served his country and also his hometown as a police officer. This resident served in law enforcement and was eventually promoted to Lieutenant. This man was respected by all. One of our caregivers purchased a “blue and white” flashing light to put on his walker for Christmas and knowing his birthday was coming up…she contacted our local police department to schedule a visit.  Needless to say, the Sheriff’s department came out on his 94th birthday and presented him with a frame filled with badges of all the different levels of Law Enforcement where he served in his career. His family was able to be present and was so appreciative of this team member’s efforts.The Badges are all different levels of Law Enforcement Harold did in his Career.The Badges are all different levels of Law Enforcement Harold did in his Career.

At Sugar Creek we go above and beyond in our programming by making sure all activities are successful, keeping in mind each residents life story and knowing the skills of my staff.  I involve my staff in scheduling our monthly activity calendar which helps them continue to be great at what they do; which in turn keeps our population active and engaged.

Most importantly…I believe that it doesn’t matter in which department you serve, or which shift you work – all of us are responsible to create Meaningful Moments for our residents.

resident, caregiver and officer

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