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Resident Stories: A Day in the Life Memory Care

Hailing from Nashville, Illinois, Shelby Jean has a master’s degree in education and enjoyed a phenomenal career teaching math and English. Although losing both her beloved husband and mother at the young age of 51 was difficult, Shelby Jean had her family, church, and plenty of hobbies and interests to fill her life full of love and laughter.

Since 2002, Shelby Jean has lived with her daughter and has loved spending lots of time with her five grandchildren, who range in age from 13 to 22. Before memory issues began impacting how she interacted with and communicated with others, Shelby Jean really enjoyed being with her family and friends, and she had many hobbies and interests to keep her busy.

Cedarhurst of Edwardsville - Resident Story - Shelly Brown

 

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Resident Stories A Day in the Life: Memory Care
A Day in the Life Memory Care Shelby Jean The Challenge

The Challenge:
Memory Issues were Taking Away Shelby Jean's Motivation to Enjoy Life

Memory Issues were Taking Away Shelby Jean's Motivation to Enjoy Life

In the years since Shelby Jean moved in with her daughter Shelly in 2002, her memory issues have gotten progressively worse. While it had been many years since Shelby Jean had done activities like aerobics and dancing, she still had plenty of interests, from listening to music and playing board games—especially backgammon and word puzzles—to reading and watching basketball. But as her memory issues increased, her interest in any activities plummeted.

Although Shelly, her family, and her friends tried to help, Shelby Jean started losing interest in all of the things that previously brought her joy. She spent less time with her grandchildren; she stopped doing hobbies she loved, like reading, listening to music, and watching movies; and finally she stopped communicating altogether.

For Shelly, it was hard watching her mom—who had once taught her baton twirling and was her junior high cheerleading coach—shut down. Not even her devotion to her Lutheran church could help Shelby Jean get back any of the life enjoyment she now missed out on.

As Shelly and other family members worried about what to do, Shelby Jean’s memory issues continued to get progressively worse.

"As her memory issues increased, her interest in any activities plummeted."

A Day in the Life Memory Care Shelby Jean The Solution

The Solution:
Memory Care that Boosts Quality of Life

Memory Care that Boosts Quality of Life

Shelly was worried sick. She had a very difficult time seeing her once strong, independent mother not enjoying life, and she was determined to do something about it—but the idea of moving her into a senior living community? She wasn’t sure if that was the right solution.

Her mom had been living with her for years, and she wasn’t about to “give up” just because things got harder. However, Shelly couldn’t help but wonder if Shelby Jean was thriving while living at home. As much as she wanted to solve all of her mother’s problems, the progressively worsening memory issues proved that goal simply wasn’t possible.

Shelly and her family reached the point where they couldn’t deny that they needed help. No matter how much they tried on their own, they couldn’t provide everything Shelby Jean needed to live a more fulfilling life. Shelly did some research into memory care communities, and she turned to Cedarhurst to see what they could offer Shelby Jean. At first, Shelly decided to try respite care, and see how Shelby Jean liked it. Looking back, they see how much this helped make the transition to residential care easier.

Cedarhurst has a memory care program that truly focuses on person-directed care, where the program staff is specially trained by a Certified Dementia Practitioner and takes continuing education modules focused on dementia. Shelly was assured that at Cedarhurst, the staff gets to know and work with each resident as an individual, providing them with care that’s as unique as they are. A nurse practitioner visits Shelby Jean every week and has gotten to know her personally.

Additionally, the community has the firstrate amenities, beautiful environment, and welcoming, safe, supportive atmosphere Shelly knows her mom deserves. Shelly and the rest of her family can now rest assured knowing that Shelby Jean is in a memory care community that isn’t just fulfilling for their loved one, but that also includes additional security measures compared to standard assisted living communities. These extra measures keep Shelby Jean safe, preventing her from wandering too far away from home.

A Day in the Life: Memory Care Shelby Jean The Outcome

The Outcome:
From Nervous to Thriving

Delighting in the Beauty of Butterflies

Shelby Jean was nervous about the possibility of life in a senior living community, which is a common and understandable reaction. She’d been living with Shelly for almost 20 years, and even though her memory problems were getting worse and her needs were increasing, she felt safer staying where it was familiar.

The emotions that go into this type of decision aren’t easy, but Shelby Jean, Shelly, and their family got the support they needed from Cedarhurst to make the transition as smooth and easy as possible. Although she was nervous before they went to the community, after her first visit, Shelby Jean didn’t want to leave. The staff at Cedarhurst made her feel comfortable and taken care of, and Shelby Jean had a great time enjoying activities with other residents.

Shelby Jean’s transition to her memory care community was much easier than Shelly had anticipated. Because Shelby Jean started her journey at Cedarhurst in respite care, it made getting used to her new community easier. It didn’t take long before Shelby Jean was thriving again, which is all Shelly ever wanted. Shelly now feels at ease, knowing that her mom loves her apartment and the caring Cedarhurst staff.

The best part? Shelby Jean is acting more like herself than she has in a long time. Instead of cutting herself off from her family and not communicating as her memory issues escalated, Shelby Jean is now thriving, enjoying activities with friends— especially games!—and having more fun than ever with her daughter, grandchildren, and even her two dogs, Comet and Cupid.

"Shelby Jean is now thriving, enjoying activities with friends—especially games!—and having more fun than ever."

A Day in the Life: Memory Care Shelby Jean The Future

The Future:
Care that Grows with Seniors

Care that Grows with Seniors

Senior living residents who need memory care services will have changing needs as the days and years go by, and Cedarhurst is there to flex their program to suit each resident as they age in place. Shelly is happy that Shelby Jean is in a community with experts who can adjust care as needed.

Cedarhurst’s specially trained memory care staff keep Shelly up-to-date about all aspects of her mother’s condition, informing her how Shelby Jean’s care will change as she ages—and what that will mean for everyone, from what type of additional services or care will be needed, to what to expect in terms of budget.

When looking back on their Cedarhurst journey, Shelly knew it would all work out after her initial visit. “I just walked in, didn’t have an appointment or anything. Didn’t matter—they just swept me up and took me on a tour, showed me an apartment and gave me a wealth of information,” she said. “It just made me feel right at home, so I felt like my mom would feel right at home.”

"I just walked in, didn’t have an appointment or anything. Didn’t matter—they just swept me up and took me on a tour, showed me an apartment and gave me a wealth of information,” she said. “It just made me feel right at home, so I felt like my mom would feel right at home."

We hope you enjoyed this little look into our senior living world. Our residents (and their families) help make Cedarhurst communities vibrant and warm, and we love sharing their loving, inspiring, and fascinating stories. There’s no such thing as a “typical” Cedarhurst resident. Each resident gets care that’s unique as they are.

See what Cedarhurst has to offer, and contact us with any questions or to schedule a tour.

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A Day in the Life: Memory Care