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Where Care Begins When Memory Fades


Chicago Business (June 2, 2015), Jane Adler - 

In a Chicago Business article, reporter Jane Adler explores how to find the best living situation for a relative with dementia. She shares:

"Mary Nemetz learned about memory care the hard way—by experience. 'This is the third time I’ve been through this,' she says.

She cared for her parents, both of whom suffered from memory loss at a time when memory care mostly consisted of the locked wing of a nursing home. Her father was moved from place to place because of his erratic behavior. “It’s so jarring for the patient and for the family,” says Nemetz. She and her husband own the startup, a website that donates a percentage of ticket purchase proceeds to worthy charities.

While her parents have both died, Nemetz is now caring for her best friend, a former physician in her 50s who suffers from dementia. After a series of terrifying experiences, including a solo cross-country trip, Nemetz was able to move her friend to Silverado Naperville, a new memory care facility.

Standalone memory care facilities are becoming more common in the Chicago area. The buildings are usually small and divided into 'neighborhoods,' each with about 12 private rooms and several common areas such as a large kitchen and living room where residents can gather.

Special programming is typically available throughout the day. Aides work with residents on brain games, crafts and household activities such as baking cookies.

But residents are given choices, too. At Silverado, if a resident wants to go to work, the staff sets up an “office” in the conference room where the resident can 'work.'

'We try to bring normalization to their lives,” says Linda Wylder, administrator at Silverado Naperville.'"

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