Checking All the Boxes

Memory care community proves a perfect fit.

Four years ago, Michael Manno’s father, Eugene, fought a battle with prostate cancer. As part of his treatment, Eugene underwent surgery to remove his prostate and some nearby lymph nodes. Unfortunately, Eugene emerged from that surgery with memory deficits that eventually became much worse.

Michael Manno discusses why he chose Grace Manor Port Orange for his father, Eugene Manno.

Michael (right) says Eugene has regained a lot of memory capability since arriving at Grace Manor.

“Dad was living by himself in Palm Coast,” Michael recounts. “I lived in Port Orange, but I would call him every night to check on him. One day last January, I couldn’t reach my father. When I called him the next day, I couldn’t reach him again.

“That was very unusual, so I went to Palm Coast and found him passed out on the floor. He was extremely dehydrated, and it caused metabolic encephalopathy. My dad got brain damage from being too dehydrated.”

After Eugene’s diagnosis, he could no longer live alone. Michael began looking around Port Orange for an assisted living community for his father. His choice was Grace Manor, an assisted living and memory care community that provides specialized care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

In the Moment

At Grace Manor, a team of specially trained resident assistants is dedicated to caring for residents with memory issues. The team members use methods to align themselves with whatever the resident is experiencing in the moment. The goal is to help the resident struggling with the effects of dementia to feel reassured, calm and not so alone.

“Grace Manor is a step between the resident’s family home and a full-time nursing facility,” observes Caryn Lauver, interim executive director of Grace Manor. “We’re here for individuals with memory issues who need specialized care and can no longer be at home. We provide the caring assistance they require so they can live as independently as possible.”

Grace Manor also has a life-enrichment program for its memory care residents. The program offers specific activities that cater to those with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. As part of the program, the staff works with residents on a variety of sensory activities.

Just Like Home

“I chose Grace Manor for several reasons,” Michael describes. “I like the idea that it isn’t simply a house where my dad is with just three or four other people. I wanted him to have a more social environment. I also like that it has controlled access. Some people with memory problems just walk out the door and forget where they are or get disoriented.

“At Grace Manor, the people are friendly, and the staff is genuinely concerned about the well-being of the residents. The community is very clean and professionally run. The reviews from other people are all positive, plus my brother and I both got good vibes from Grace Manor when we initially visited the community.”

When Eugene first arrived at Grace Manor, his memory was very compromised, Michael shares. He didn’t really know where he was. His condition has improved, however, in the time he’s been at Grace Manor. Now, Eugene knows where he is, and he is doing much better. In fact, Eugene is doing quite well, according to Michael.

“Dad has regained quite a bit of his memory capability,” Michael reports. “As the months have gone by, he’s gotten more back to normal. He likes to sit and build puzzles all day, but he’s also made friends since he’s been at Grace Manor.

“I’m really happy with Grace Manor,” Michael adds. “Everything there is very homelike, and it has an inclusive atmosphere. To my dad, Grace Manor feels like home.”

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