Kim Carpenter is the Life Enrichment Coordinator at Carroll Campbell Place, Lexington Medical Center’s residence for people with Alzheimer’s disease. In recognition of Alzheimer's Awareness Month, she shares the ways Carroll Campbell Place has helped residents and their family members navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carroll Campbell Place is able to schedule indoor visits. Protocols such as masks and six feet of social distancing are required. While it can be difficult at times for residents with Alzheimer’s disease to understand the space requirements and communicate with masks, they are always happy to see loved ones.
We spend a lot of quality one-on-one time with residents in their rooms playing songs that helps trigger memories, reading to them, and showing them pictures of family and friends, including from travels and life events. They also work on mentally-stimulating activities such as art and guessing games.
Some of the residents have grown herbs and flowers outside. They enjoy time in the sunshine looking at the garden. Another favorite is deliveries of freshly-baked sweets in their rooms. The aromatherapy of the herbs, flowers and sweets is beneficial. Chocolate, banana nut bread and cookies are the most popular.
Carroll Campbell Place is also able to conduct very small activity groups in the lobby areas, with residents socially distanced and wearing masks.
FaceTime calls with families continue. They are especially beneficial when they use their device to show residents their family pets, grandchildren and homes. Window visits are also allowed.
It’s important to the staff to provide as much comfort to residents as possible during this difficult time because they may not understand why their loved ones can’t hug them or stop by as often.
All staff working in the building are tested for COVID-19 at least weekly and have temperature checks upon arrival and leaving work daily. They wear masks and appropriate PPE as needed.
Carroll Campbell Place is thankful for the support of the community as it works to keep residents healthy and safe.
For more information, visit www.LexingtonExtendedCare.com.