Woman kissing man on cheek

MEMORY SUPPORT AT COVENANT WOODS’ MANOR EAST | MECHANICSVILLE, VIRGINIA

Live each moment with purpose and joy.

For those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, life happens in the moment. And for family members and caregivers, it’s important to focus on making those moments as meaningful and engaging as possible. At Covenant Woods, memory support (also known as dementia care) is designed to honor each resident’s unique history and life experiences while also meeting them where they are today. We create individualized care plans that support residents in using their skills and abilities, maintaining familiar routines, and decreasing anxiety.

We also recognize that an individual’s memory loss affects their entire family. We work to integrate the family into the resident’s care plan through education and communication. Together, we work to create an environment in which each resident feels safe, supported, and free to live with as much autonomy as possible.

“Our Opening Minds Through Art program has built a special culture within our community that enables us to bond with memory support residents and change the way we communicate with them.”

— Brook Brown, Recreation Therapist

Private rooms provide comfort and familiarity.

The private memory support rooms in Manor East provide comfort and dignity in a pleasant, private neighborhood. Residents and their families are encouraged to bring photos and other familiar items from home to help the resident feel more comfortable in his or her surroundings. Each private room includes:
 

  • Private bath with large, walk-in tiled shower (handicapped accessible)
  • Large windows and plenty of natural light
  • Individually controlled lighting, heating, and air conditioning
  • Daily housekeeping and linen service

Memory Support Services and Amenities

Residents in our memory support neighborhood enjoy a secure and tranquil environment designed for their unique needs. While all resident suites are private to ensure individual comfort and privacy, the neighborhood offers a variety of communal areas that encourage engagement and interaction. Culinary services are provided by the same exceptional team that serves all Covenant Woods residents, and friends and loved ones are welcome to visit at any time and use a dedicated entrance for residents’ security. Our exceptional memory support services and amenities include:

  • 21 private rooms
  • Staff specially trained in dementia care including Buddies Forever and certified person-centered care concepts
  • Assistance with activities of daily living
  • Medication management
  • Individualized care plan focused on supporting existing skills, abilities, and routines
  • Innovative, specialized memory support programs and activities
  • Dedicated dining area serving delicious meals and snacks
  • Comfortable common areas with televisions
  • Alzheimer’s lounge for programming
  • Four-season sunroom
  • Outdoor courtyard and walkways with poured-rubber surface for a softer step
  • Scheduled transportation*
  • Recreation trips
  • Housekeeping and linen service
  • Salon services*
  • On-site physician services*
  • Spiritual care services
  • Private entrance

*Additional fee applies

Specialized memory support programs create an enriching environment

At Covenant Woods, recreation for residents in memory support is not merely entertainment or distraction. Our specialized programming focuses on helping residents make meaningful connections through activities that engage the mind, body, and spirit. Art, music, and group gatherings are designed to stimulate memories, increase awareness and enjoyment of life, and decrease anxiety. Common areas encourage positive socialization with others. We also offer an Alzheimer’s lounge with stations devoted to engaging, structured recreational activities.

Opening Minds through Art (OMA)

The award-winning OMA program is an intergenerational art program for seniors that provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement. Residents of our memory support neighborhood, staff, and volunteers work together to create abstract art in a social atmosphere. After each OMA program is completed, Covenant Woods hosts an art show and silent auction in the Taylor Art Gallery on campus. Resident families, employees, volunteers, and guests are invited to purchase the artworks residents have created, with the proceeds supporting future OMA programs and other memory support art programs at Covenant Woods.

Alzheimer’s lounge

In the Alzheimer’s lounge, residents may choose from a variety of simple but engaging activities to provide a sense of purpose, pleasure, and peace. Stations are designed to accommodate different cognitive levels and include tasks such as participating in a service project, sock-folding, counting and separating coins, boxing jewelry, rolling ribbon, or looking at photographs. While each station has a clear activity to complete, the real purpose is to promote social interaction. For example, the sock-folding station has interesting socks with various images on them such as food, art, or animals intended to spark memories and encourage conversation. Staff are always nearby to initiate a conversation or keep an interaction going, but always keep the focus on encouraging residents to engage with each other.

Meet Jett, Chief Petting Officer

Visit the Memory Support neighborhood in Manor East and you’re likely to run into an especially enthusiastic team member: the incomparable therapy dog, Jett. Jett is an “Aussie doodle” — an Australian shepherd and standard poodle mix — who came to us from K-9 Caring Angels, a non-profit organization that trains and places therapy and service dogs. A certified pet therapy dog, Jett clearly knows his job and seems to win the heart of everyone he meets — residents and staff alike. While he lives in the memory support neighborhood, he makes rounds through the community, visiting residents in assisted living, skilled nursing, and independent living.

Studies have shown that a dog’s company has many beneficial impacts on humans’ health including reducing negative emotions and increasing a sense of purpose and feelings of unconditional love. Something as simple as petting a dog can reduce stress, stabilize heart rate, and even lower blood pressure. Since joining our community as a full-time resident in January 2022, Jett has already become a much-loved and highly valued member of the Covenant Woods family as his winning personality and calming presence contribute to everyone’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does memory support differ from assisted living?

Individuals who are cognitively challenged, whether from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, require more specialized attention and a higher degree of security than residents in assisted living. At Covenant Woods, our memory support residence has been carefully designed to promote and accommodate as much autonomy as practical while ensuring that residents are comfortable and secure. All staff receive specialized dementia care training, and programming is structured to build confidence in an environment that promotes choice and accommodates each resident’s preferred schedule and routines.    

What is the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia?

Dementia is a general term that refers to a loss of cognitive functions such as thinking, reasoning, and the ability to remember, that is severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily functioning. This group of symptoms is not a disease per se but may accompany certain diseases or conditions. Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common cause of dementia, is a specific, progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, characterized by loss of function and death of nerve cells in several brain areas. Alzheimer’s disease initially results in difficulty remembering new information, then progresses to include symptoms such as disorientation, behavior changes, confusion, and loss of long-term memory. Due to the disease’s effects on the brain, walking, speaking, and swallowing can become difficult. 

Kids kissing grandpa on his cheeks

DIRECT ADMISSION

While residents of Covenant Woods always have guaranteed priority admission to all our levels of health care, new residents are admitted on a space-available basis.

Two women talking

EMPOWERING ASSISTED LIVING

Assisted living at Covenant Woods’ Manor East provides personalized assistance that empowers independence.

A plaque on a desk

MEET COVENANT WOODS

From a history that spans 140 years to the modern, fully realized Life Plan Community you see today, there’s much to learn about Covenant Woods.