NorthStar Memory Care™ Program
Affinity Living Group created the pioneering NorthStar Memory Care™ Program, designed to help those with Alzheimer's disease, related dementia, or other cognitive deficits achieve their “best life.” By creating a therapeutic, engaging, and safe environment, the program focuses on identifying skills retained (versus lost), with the goals of maximizing dignity, individuality, and function.
Program elements may include…
Certified Alzheimer's Practitioner Training
NorthStar staff receive training to help them understand residents and assist them in achieving meaningful days. Training topics including validation therapy, reminiscence/personal history, therapeutic touch, managing difficult behaviors, and life enrichment activities, among others.
Utilizing “directional design,” NorthStar hallways may include a circular route and/or “neighborhoods” with color-coded doorways and themes that divide the residence into smaller, recognizable sections. Personalized memory boxes at living unit entrances help identify individual rooms.
Wayfinding design can help to both enhance resident self-confidence and dignity, as well as minimize mistaken entry into the rooms of others.
In addition to scheduled activities, NorthStar residents have the opportunity to self-engage in "Life Skills" stations focused on activities recognizable and important to them. Whether a “nursery,” “office,” or artwork designed to trigger past memories, residents can find activities of interest throughout their day.
Individuals afflicted with Alzheimer's disease can experience eating difficulty due to an inability to distinguish contrast between colors, including light colored food on light colored plates. Because the human eye has more receptors for “red” than any other color, utilizing red tableware has been shown to increase food intake by up to 24% and liquid intake by up to 84% in individuals suffering from this visual deficit. NorthStar staff are trained to help identify residents who may benefit from use of this tableware.
Up to 60% of those with Alzheimer's will wander, often exhibiting “exit seeking” behavior. NorthStar Memory Care residences include secured entrances and courtyards, in addition to subtler features to help keep our residents safe and secure.