Cen­ter to open memory care unit

The News-Times - - NEWS - By Deb­o­rah Rose

Find­ing a safe place for a loved one to live once memory loss be­comes too ex­ten­sive to live safely at home can be chal­leng­ing.

Now, Vil­lage Crest Cen­ter for Health & Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in New Mil­ford hopes it can help.

The cen­ter will soon un­veil its new memory care unit on the third floor.

A pub­lic open house at the 19 Po­plar St. cen­ter is planned for May 7 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The Alzheimer’s As­so­ci­a­tion will be on hand to meet with at­ten­dees and dis­trib­ute in­for­ma­tion.

Health pro­fes­sion­als, el­der law at­tor­neys and financial ad­vi­sors are wel­come for a re­cep­tion from 5 to 7 p.m.

The evening open house will fea­ture a bour­bon tast­ing with Litch­field Dis­tillery, catered food from LaNoce’s Gourmet Mar­ket & Ca­ter­ing, jazz duo mu­sic with Route 7 Mu­sic in Brookfield and a rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony with Mayor Pete Bass.

Chris­tine Fitzsi­mons Co­co­tas, re­gional di­rec­tor of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment for Na­tional Health Care As­so­ci­ates, de­scribes the de­sign as “dig­ni­fied and stim­u­lat­ing” for res­i­dents. Na­tional Health Care As­so­ci­ates owns the fa­cil­ity, along with sev­eral oth­ers in the state.

Much thought was given to the de­tails of the space, right down to color, dé­cor and programmin­g.

It in­cor­po­rates the five senses, brain stim­u­la­tion and so­cial en­gage­ment, Co­co­tas said.

“The biggest thing with memory care is programmin­g,” Co­co­tas said. “It has to be ap­pro­pri­ate and im­pact­ing peo­ple.”

Images of New Mil­ford — where many of the cen­ter’s fu­ture res­i­dents live, or present res­i­dents lived prior to mov­ing to Vil­lage Crest — by Gre­gory Kaiser are framed and hung on the walls.

“It’s as home-like as possible,” Co­co­tas said.

A num­ber of res­i­dents will move from other ar­eas at the cen­ter, but open beds will be avail­able in the new 34-bed unit, ac­cord­ing to Ad­min­is­tra­tor Erin Healy.

“Our goal is to be a leader in the in­dus­try of­fer­ing ex­cel­lent care and spe­cialty pro­grams to optimize our res­i­dents’ qual­ity of life and pro­vide peace of mind to their fam­i­lies and loved ones know­ing they are in a safe, se­cure and car­ing com­mu­nity,” Healy said.

The 95-bed cen­ter is a short- and long-term skilled nurs­ing care fa­cil­ity. It also of­fers respite and hospice.

It of­fers a Pass­port Pro­gram for short-term re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“It’s de­signed to care­fully and qui­etly em­bed clin­i­cal pro­grams into a com­fort­able heal­ing en­vi­ron­ment,” Healy said. “Each spe­cialty pro­gram com­bines med­i­cal, nurs­ing and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion goals and care prac­tices to help pro­vide a safe jour­ney back home.”

Up un­til now, Can­dle­wood Val­ley Health & Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­ter in town was the only care fa­cil­ity that of­fered a memory care unit.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call Vil­lage Crest Cen­ter for Health & Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, lo­cated at 19 Po­plar St., at 860-354-9365. TO RSVP to the evening open house, contact Julie Brown at [email protected]­care.com.

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