Understanding Your Family’s Memory Care Options
The holiday season is an exciting time of year, but for some it brings added stress. Gatherings and special occasions are activities we anticipate all year, but a break from routine can be overwhelming to someone living with a condition like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It can also be taxing on caregivers, especially those with health concerns of their own. Aging can be a difficult subject matter to talk about with family members, but it’s a conversation better had sooner than later. With compassionate care, cognitive impairments can be managed and provide a better quality of life.
In a Life Plan Community like Blue Skies of Texas, we offer a range of living options so that all residents get the care they need. With direct access to award-winning, state-of-the-art healthcare, Blue Skies allows residents to add on levels of healthcare as the necessity arises. Whatever the need might be, residents don’t have to travel far. A full continuum of care is located right on campus.
Meet the Sieberts
John Siebert and his wife “Butch” moved to Blue Skies of Texas last year to be closer to the support services offered at Freedom House, the award-winning memory care neighborhood located on campus. John is a retired military contractor and he and Butch have lived all over the world, but for them Texas always feels like home. Butch has been living with Alzheimer’s for a few years and John has been the primary caretaker. As Butch’s condition declined, it became clear to John that professional memory care was in both of their best interest. They sold their home and relocated to San Antonio.
“The team at Blue Skies made the process easy. Butch moved into Freedom House two months before I moved down. I thought it was best to take care of selling the house because she would have been confused and not understood what was going on. It was a little bit of a transition. It takes time to get used to making a move like this. She’s settled now though and very well cared for,” John explained.
John has an apartment in the Towers on West Campus, and Butch is less than half a mile away at Freedom House, just a short stroll on our walking path. Our innovative memory care neighborhood opened in 1998 and cares for residents with all forms of dementias and cognitive impairments. The recent remodel included research-based improvements such as updates to the residences and common areas. Little touches like circadian lighting in the living areas promote healthy sleep cycles and our shared bathrooms are designed to give the “spa” experience for more relaxed bathing.
“Freedom House is such a nice place. The staff is so considerate and accommodating. You can stay for hours and not feel uncomfortable. In other words, they’re well trained and most have been here for a long time. You can tell they really love the residents,” John said.
A purposeful life
At Blue Skies, we believe in purpose-driven care. Each resident is provided with an individual care plan that includes a host of stimulating programing. The Child Care Center on campus is one way we engage our Freedom House residents. Intergenerational activities have been shown to be good for both seniors and children. In the Child Care Center at Freedom House, childcare is available to employees as well as those at the neighboring Air Force base. This unique venture allows residents to interact with children. Residents are kept active and energized while children learn valuable social skills. We also offer pet therapy with dogs and cats.
Family involvement is another way residents remain engaged. With John being so close, he can remain a daily fixture in his wife’s routine. “I spend about 3-4 hours a day there. There’s a lot of socialization that happens. Back at home, there wouldn’t be as many opportunities to interact with different people.” Residents are also involved in creative projects and group games.
Vibrant social living
“Almost everyone here has an interesting story. It’s a very interesting place to live. Just a bunch of good folks. It’s tough to find someone who isn’t outgoing.” John said.
John lives in The Hi-Rise and has a thriving social calendar. Faith is a big part of John’s life and he’s involved with Catholic activities in the chapel. He even takes communion to his wife. He also teaches an AARP Defensive Driving course and that helps him meet new people. This fall, he’ll be making his stage debut in a resident show. After that he’ll be helping with the West Campus Christmas decorations.
John and Butch have a large family dispersed all over the country. They won’t be seeing them this holiday, but Blue Skies of Texas hosts an impressive Thanksgiving and Christmas for residents to mingle and celebrate. John and his wife get to spend the holidays together without all the work of cooking and cleaning.
The memory care offered at Blue Skies is unparalleled in southern Texas. Freedom House is a top-tier memory care community. Through our partnership with Dr. Donald Royall, a respected researcher in pioneering studies, we’ve become a leader in the field. Blue Skies of Texas is the only nonprofit community in San Antonio to offer on-site research. We have been recognized as a “Caring Star” —a coveted distinction given to only 3% of senior communities nationwide.
We are so excited to partner with the Biggs Institute at UT Health Science Center here in San Antonio. Nearly 200 residents representing all levels of health and wellness signed up to participate in their wide variety of research initiatives, knowing they are helping the greater research community. This initiative continues the legacy of research for which Freedom House is known.
We know the decision to move to a Life Plan Community can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help. Our compassionate team is ready to welcome your family. To speak with a sales advisor, please call 1-800-655-3083