There is nothing that prepares you for having someone you love suffer with memory loss. Making the choice to seek the help of an assisted living home should bring relief, stability and a better quality of life for your loved one -- and your entire family--we developed Cedar Creek to bring our families that and more:
In 1995, we started Cedar Creek because we saw a big gap in assisted living choices for people with dementia. We strongly believe people with memory loss feel safer and more secure in small homes like the ones they've lived in all their lives. We've created our homes from actual one-story homes in the kind of neighborhoods where our residents have raised their families. At our Maryland homes: Clifton Woods, Hillwood, Auxiliary House, Maple Ridge & Cedar Glen, our residents live their lives with a sense of normalcy and a lot of joy--they water the garden & help set the table. And when someone feels anxious, we know whose face lights up when we pull out the strawberry ice cream & whose shoulders relax when Frank Sinatra plays on the stereo. We believe true dementia care is about an intimate relationship with our residents and a strong partnership with our families. We're not about bureaucracy, we're about finding solutions and making life better for people who have very little control over their minds and fewer choices about their lives than any of us would ever want.
We believe in meeting our residents where they are. This means understanding who they are--what their life is--and has been about. With an appreciation for their uniqueness, we craft our program to their needs and abilities. Maintaining a sense of routine and familiarity is at the heart of our program. This might mean supervised cooking or daily walks. Probably singing and hopefully some dancing. We keep our residents involved and contributing--sweeping the patio, stirring cookie batter--encouraging a sense of purpose and supporting them along the way. For some it's group crosswords, for other's it's taking in the aroma of strawberry shortcake baking at the Fourth of July. If it brings a smile, we'll consider it.
Expect to see joy in our homes--no doubt you'll see Ruthie dancing to Glen Miller with more than one resident at a time, Charlotte holding hands with a resident as they watch an evening movie, a brownie troop passing out Valentines, our music therapist leading a sing along or Laura, our reminiscing therapist, conducting a tour of the Louvre--we expect and plan for magic in our homes--and it happens. And the unplanned gives us some of our greatest satisfaction: when residents develop deep friendships, when families feel comfortable enough to join in for a meal or even jump in the kitchen with their parent to make a favorite family recipe for the whole house--or when a family brings in enough pizza dough for 40 people and we bake personal pizzas for everyone--yes a family really invited all the families over to make pizzas and yes, it was lots of fun! They brought the idea to us and we just invited everyone--a lot can happen when great minds come together to make life a little better for everyone. That's the way we run our homes --we try not to say no, we consider ideas and most of them have been pretty wonderful.
We share this to give you a glimpse into how we think. We decided to have small homes so that our programs could be very individualized. We just don't believe you can provide good dementia care in a large anonymous situation where a resident sees many new faces of staff and residents every day. It's confusing and stressful. We love small--it's cozy, it's comforting & the way most people grew up. Being small gives us great opportunity: It's our goal to know everything we can about a resident, what scares them, what makes them happy, what they have spent the last 75 years doing. We know that the person we see before us does not always convey the richness of a life and to truly care for someone, we want to know their story and how to bring the highest quality of life into their everyday existence. The world gets pretty small when someone has dementia--we want to make that world a happy place because each and every resident deserves as much joy in their lives as possible.