Memory Lane Home Living was intended to house my mother, who passed away before its completion. Her dementia journey was an inspiration for this home. Mom would have flourished in a small home environment that promoted purposeful living with “like-minded women.” When I asked our Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) worker about such a home she said, “You are ahead of your time.”
We experienced the frustrations that come with institutional settings. It began with the “premature” entry into assisted living in a retirement community—because there were no options on a smaller scale.
Mom endured the feelings of disconnect and loneliness that come with a large, impersonal setting where staff constantly changed. A setting where dementia care was integrated with seniors who were uncomfortable around people with dementia. Although Mom had mild dementia, she could certainly feel when she was being judged by others.
The message I clearly got from the medical staff in the institutional settings, from the beginning through to Mom’s passing, was that they did not have time for family input.
Another frustrating aspect of large institutional settings was the lack of understanding about the importance of relationship and purposeful activity in dementia care. Our mother loved to go for outdoor walks, yet the staff could not take Mom out to enjoy the beauty of nature. Outings were limited and activities in the facility were crowded and chaotic. Too many residents congregated in a very small space. Such moments were stressful rather than enjoyable.
We are grateful for the guidance and support from friends, family, knowledgeable individuals in this field, and especially the Alzheimer’s Society of York Region and Seneca Gerontology (King Campus). Memory Lane Home Living was designed to address the issues that I encountered in Mom’s final chapter of life.
Board of Directors “The Care Team”
(Back from left)
Glen Zeilder: Both a Pastor of a church and a Chaplain in a Long-Term Care facility in Toronto. Glen’s passion is to provide spiritual guidance throughout the dementia journey. Glen also experienced dementia first-hand with his mother.
Mona Lancaster: Founding member of Memory Lane Home Living. Her background is in Psychology/Sociology and the mental health field. She is currently completing a Geriatric Certificate from McMaster University. Mona experienced dementia with her mother and found great support from the “Alzheimer’s Support Group of York Region.”
Elena Cacchione: A nurse of 20 years, Elena is currently working at a memory clinic in a Toronto hospital. She is presently on a dementia journey with her mother.
Ina Weisz: A recently retired geriatric nurse with Baycrest Hospital where she worked for 29 years, Ina is a knowledgeable source in the field of dementia.
Luba Rascheff: A “road scholar” from Harvard University with a degree in Seminary. Luba is a former team member of the “InterChurch Health Ministries.” Luba has abundant knowledge about senior care and dementia from her connections to the parish nurses.