"Memory Vacation" is Summer Getaway for Those with Alzheimer's and their Families

Jun 17, 2013, 12:21 ET from Emeritus Senior Living

SEATTLE, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Everyone loves a summer break and people with Alzheimer's disease are no different. While taking a trip may not be feasible for many with dementia, another kind of getaway can be very enjoyable and beneficial to the individual and their families, experts say. A "memory vacation" to a favorite destination from the past is brought to the place of residence, whether in their long-time home or at a memory-care community.

"A variety of stimuli can elicit long-term memories for some people with dementia and reminders of beloved vacations of the past may be among them," says Dr. Paul Nussbaum, national director of brain health for Emeritus Senior Living and clinical neuropsychologist and adjunct professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "For example, if a loved one enjoyed summers at the beach in their youth, recreating that setting with familiar sights, sounds and aromas can stimulate memory from those times and bring on a feeling of wellbeing."

A beach chair, raft, cookout, the scent of sunscreen, music and photos of that time period of their life, or simply an audio of lapping waves are stimuli that can bring echoes back from the past, Nussbaum says.

The memory vacation draws on the principles of Emeritus' "Join Their Journey" program of dementia care. It focuses on understanding the life story and preferences of each person in order to provide personalized care that enables the individual to live with meaning and enjoyment.

"If a resident has always loved gardening, we work to keep them involved with their passion," says Vice President Kelly Scott, who oversees the Join Their Journey program at Emeritus.

For more information on the Emeritus Join Their Journey program, visit www.emeritus.com/alzheimers-and-dementia-care.

About Emeritus Senior Living
Emeritus Senior Living is the nation's largest assisted living and memory care provider, with the ability to serve nearly 50,000 residents. More than 30,000 employees support over 480 communities throughout 45 states. Emeritus offers the spectrum of senior residential choices, care options and life enrichment programs that fulfill individual needs and promote purposeful living throughout the aging process. Its experts provide insights on senior care at www.Emeritus.com. Emeritus' common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ESC.

CONTACT: Scott McCaskey / Audrey Knoth, (757) 625-2518

SOURCE Emeritus Senior Living