13 November 2018

When Sherrie’s mom, Margie, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it dramatically changed the structure of their lives. Sherrie moved her mom from California to Ohio to live with her and was her fulltime caregiver for six years.

“I knew I had to take care of my mom like she took care of me when I was small,” said Sherrie.

Sherrie and her partner frequently travel, and when they realized they could no longer leave Margie alone safely, they sought out respite care. Respite care is a short-term stay at a senior living community that provides relief for a primary caregiver. Sherrie found that respite care not only allowed her to travel in peace knowing that her mom was safe and cared for, but it also gave her an idea of what to look for on a long-term memory care community.

Sherrie had three main concerns for her mom’s long-term care: She wanted her long-term provider to provide dignity, engagement and a holistic approach to life. Brookdale Westlake Village checked each of those boxes. Margie currently lives in Clare Bridge, which is programming specially designed for people in the mid to late stages of dementia.

“Brookdale is very impressive. What they do here is called redirect. For example, if my mother gets up in the middle of the night, instead of giving her a sleeping pill, they bring her out and let her fold towels. Then they walk her back to her apartment when she gets a little sleepy. It's very dignified. It's a natural approach, it's a healthier approach.”

“Margie is a great example of person-centered care,” said Juliet Holt Klinger, senior director of Dementia Care at Brookdale. “She owned apartments and hotels in her past, loves cleaning, loves organizing, loves straightening and decorating. For her, that's meaningful, purposeful and she's contributing to the community. It's really kept her self-esteem at a good level.”

Sherrie says it feels like visiting her mom’s home when she steps into the community.

“The staff is fantastic. They are really engaged and you feel it comes from their heart when they engage with the residents. It changes my life because now I could rest assured she is always safe.”

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