The Right Place

Dementia patient regains her dignity with quality, personalized care.

Looking back on her childhood, Lia Jones often marvels at how socially active her parents Richard and Nelida were. In addition to being deeply involved in amateur theater groups, they were always donating time to charity and entertaining friends, Lia says.

When taking care of his wife, Nelida, proved too difficult for Richard Jones, he and his daughter Lia chose The Residence at Timber Pines as their next home.

Maria Sabo (right) helps Nelida with one of her daily tasks.

The busy couple’s social calendar was one that remained full all through Richard’s 41-year military career and well into retirement. Then, in 2012, Nelida was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Soon thereafter, the couple’s social outings became a thing of the past.

“As time passed, both my parents became very isolated,” explains Lia, who lives and works in Colorado. “My mom stopped getting out of bed regularly. She didn’t want to eat very much or go out with friends anymore. After a while, she didn’t even want to go out with her kids anymore.

“As for my dad, who was my mom’s primary caregiver, the stress of caring for my mom just became too much for him. It really changed him and eventually took a toll on him both cognitively and on his health. It was really a difficult thing to see.”

Richard cared for Nelida, now 86, at the couple’s home until 2016, when the ever-increasing demands forced him to start looking for an alternative. With Lia at his side, Richard soon settled on The Residence at Timber Pines as the couple’s new home.

Since it opened its doors nearly 20 years ago, The Residence at Timber Pines has been a pillar of the Spring Hill community, where it is committed to helping seniors from all walks of life live a purposeful, care-free lifestyle.

As part of its commitment, The Residence at Timber Pines provides residents with quality, personalized care in an all-in-one setting that includes independent living apartment homes, assisted living and memory care services.

“We’ve always been at the forefront of senior living, and one of the reasons is that we have licensed the entire building to be an assisted living community,” explains The Residence at Timber Pines Sales Director, Danielle Rosado.

“That means that if you start out in an independent living residence but suddenly begin to decline for some reason, you receive assisted living services when you need them, and you don’t have to move to another building or floor to do that.

“Another reason we believe The Residence at Timber Pines is at the forefront of senior living is that we are the only community in the area that is a shelter-in-place community, meaning we were built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. So it’s a very safe community as well.”

Pearls of Life®

Another unique quality of The Residence at Timber Pines is the design of its Pearls of Life memory care program, where each of the three floors of The Residence is devoted to caring for residents with different levels of dementia.

When taking care of his wife, Nelida, proved too difficult for Richard Jones, he and his daughter Lia chose The Residence at Timber Pines as their next home.

“They really care about not just their residents but their residents’ families
as well.” -Lia

Pearl Garden® is on the first floor and caters to residents with early- to mid-stage dementia; Pearl Essence®, on the second floor, is for women only and Sand Pearl®, on the third floor, is set aside for residents with late-stage dementia.

In addition, the knowledgeable and well-trained staff of memory care professionals at The Residence at Timber Pines is always being updated on the latest techniques used to stimulate and calm the aging brain.

“That part is very important,” explains Maria Sabo, LPN, Memory Care Coordinator. “When someone is suffering from dementia, it’s imperative that the brain remains as active as possible, so we have a lot of activities devoted to the specific level of each resident.

“We have also implemented the Montessori Inspired Lifestyle®, whereby we encourage the residents to do as much as they can for themselves so we don’t take away whatever skills they still have left. And above all, we strive to protect the residents’ dignity, which is very important.

“I can tell you that in the forty-seven years that I’ve been in nursing, I’ve worked at a lot of good places, but none were as dedicated to helping residents living with dementia as we are here. When it comes to memory care, we offer the best care I’ve ever seen.”

Concerned primarily with the care of Nelida at the time of their visit, Lia says the high-quality of the memory care provided to residents living with dementia was what sold her and her father on The Residence at Timber Pines.

“To begin with, all the people there were very welcoming and clear in their explanation of what they offered,” Lia confides. “That made us feel very comfortable. And then the grounds – the building and everything – were so well cared for and beautiful.

“As we walked through the memory care neighborhood, we could easily envision my mother living comfortably there. The quality of care seemed very high, and the environment was vibrant and beautiful. It was just a perfect fit.”

With Lia’s blessing, Richard and Nelida made the decision to move to The Residence at Timber Pines in 2016. At the time of their decision, Richard and Nelida were planning on sharing an apartment, where Nelida would make use of assisted living services.

By the time they made the move, however, Nelida’s dementia had progressed to a point where she was in need of regular care. As a result, Richard moved into an independent living apartment home while Nelida moved into Pearl Gardens. Despite the sudden adjustment, it still proved to be a perfect fit for both.

Active Again

“It really worked out great,” Lia raves. “As soon as my dad moved there, he sort of took off. All of a sudden, he became very active again, just like he always had been. He even started an acting club, a wine club and became involved in the community.

When taking care of his wife, Nelida, proved too difficult for Richard Jones, he and his daughter Lia chose The Residence at Timber Pines as their next home.

Nelida

“He eventually became president of the residents’ association there and made a lot of new friends. It was like he came back to life again. He was once again the dad I always knew, the dad I had not seen in a couple of years.

“And my mother, well, before they moved, she just wasn’t functioning. But once she got to The Residence at Timber Pines, she became very involved again as well. She started going to all the activities they have and made new friends and started communicating again.

“The best thing is that she has regained a sense of dignity. The cognitive part doesn’t improve, but she gets up out of bed every day now and showers and dresses herself and goes to the activities. And she’s eating well again.

“She even gets out and walks. When she was at home, she wasn’t moving and had developed a lot of aches and pains, but now, it’s really incredible to see her. When she was at home, she was not living a dignified life. Now, she is.”

Lia and Nelida were dealt a difficult blow this past June when Richard suddenly passed away. He had not been ill, so Richard’s passing came as a shock to his family, but Lia says even in that moment, the staff at The Residence at Timber Pines stood out.

“He was doing well, living big, and when he passed away, the attention that was paid to us as a family from the staff there at The Residence at Timber Pines was absolutely incredible,” Lia relates. “It was so moving, so touching and so genuine.

“There is a genuine care for the people who live there and for their families, and I want to add that, while my father was alive, he was always my information source on my mother. He was always the one updating me on how my mom was doing.

“Since he passed, though, the staff there has taken that over and really done a great job of keeping me informed as to how she’s doing. I just think that’s another example of how much they really care about not just their residents but their residents’ families as well.”

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