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June 28, 2024

Enhancing Care with Engagement Plans

Category: Memory Care

Author: Julie Sabo, Regional Director of Memory Care

An Engagement Plan captures significant details, events, and memories from a person’s life in a personalized narrative. It helps caregivers, family members, and healthcare professionals understand and connect with an individual on a deeper level. By creating an Engagement Plan, we improve the quality of care, making it more person-centered. Personal information enhances communication, providing comfort and a sense of identity for individuals with dementia.

At Vitalia Westlake, we gather this information as soon as possible, before a resident moves into our Memory Care Neighborhood. As dementia progresses, it often becomes more difficult for residents to communicate their wants, needs, and wishes. These plans help us meet their desires throughout their dementia journey.

Maintaining Familiarity: Documenting Daily Routines and Preferences

An Engagement Plan is a tool we use to get to know our residents to the fullest extent possible. Using the information obtained, we can provide truly person-centered care. The plan holds all the key details necessary to offer the perfect care for an individual living with dementia. Dementia can sometimes take away the ability to communicate, but with this information, we can understand their preferences, routines, favorite activities, potential triggers for sadness, sources of joy, and challenges.

Senior woman wearing a green shirt and beige cardigan, sitting at a table in a senior living community, smiling and holding a pair of patterned socks and a sewing tool.

In planning for the future care of someone living with dementia, I encourage you to take notes on how they spend their day. Document what they enjoy doing and their hygiene preferences. We aim to mimic what is comfortable and familiar to them as closely as possible. Everyone has a unique routine, and dementia does not take that from them. Maintaining structure with familiar tasks is key when navigating the journey of dementia.

Start now to prepare for your future and/or the future of your loved ones. Provide detailed information about your background, history, likes, and dislikes. Include what makes you happy, sad, and fearful. Mention any special things that bring you joy and comfort. These Engagement Plans improve caregiving, aid in emotional comfort, and facilitate communication. They also enable those around you to honor your life and ensure you receive personalized and compassionate care. You can find free templates online at legacyproject.org and crisisprevention.com.

VITALIA® Westlake in Westlake, OH offers independent living +, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near UH St. John Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic Avon with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Meadowood Golf Course, Crocker Park, Clague Playhouse, Porter Library, Westlake Rec Center, Sibling Revelry Brewery, Bradley Woods Reservation, Huntington Reservation, and White Oaks Restaurant.

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