A Labor of Love


Many years ago, one of our former residents donated a piece of her childhood memorabilia to Cadbury Commons. It was a Doll House – 9 rooms and 3 floors of perfectly scaled furniture. It was arranged inside a large leaded-glass breakfront.

As time wore on, so did the bumps and bruises to this magnificent collection. We are after all an Assisted Living community. The lighting was the first to go followed by sloping floors. Crooked pictures. Tea pots on the floor. It was beginning to resemble a Fun House at an amusement park. It desperately needed some TLC.

Jack Shumsky to the rescue. There is nothing this resident cannot fix. He asked to have the Dollhouse delivered to his “workshop” a former office in our community. There he spent countless days and weeks restoring the lighting, replacing floors, gluing tea cups to saucers; saucers to the tables; tables to the floor, etc.

This beautifully restored Dollhouse now graces our foyer.

Thank you, Jack, for your labor of love.

Effective Communication Strategies for Connecting with Loved Ones in Memory Care

For families with a loved one in memory care, communication can be both a lifeline and a challenge. Memory loss conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, can make it increasingly difficult for individuals to express themselves and for family members to connect with them. However, with patience, understanding, and the right communication strategies, it’s possible to maintain meaningful connections and foster moments of joy and clarity. In this article, we’ll explore some effective communication tips and techniques that can help you connect with your loved ones in memory care.

1. Non-Verbal Communication

Often, non-verbal cues can be just as powerful, if not more so, than words. Maintain eye contact, offer a warm smile, and use gentle touches or hand-holding to convey love and support. Pay attention to your loved one’s body language and facial expressions, as they can provide valuable insights into their emotions and needs.

2. Use Simple and Clear Language

Complex sentences or questions can be confusing for individuals with memory loss. Instead, use simple and straightforward language. Ask one question at a time, and give them ample time to respond. Be patient, and avoid rushing them.

3. Active Listening

Listening is a fundamental part of effective communication. When your loved one speaks, give them your full attention. Avoid interrupting or finishing their sentences. Encourage them to share their thoughts and memories, even if they repeat themselves.

4. Validation and Empathy

Validate their feelings and experiences, even if they don’t align with reality. Empathize with their emotions and provide comfort. For example, if they express a desire to see a long-deceased relative, you can respond with empathy, saying something like, “I understand how much you miss them.”

5. Use Visual Aids

Visual aids, such as family photos, can be powerful conversation starters. Looking at pictures together can trigger memories and provide opportunities to reminisce about the past. Keep a scrapbook or album handy to facilitate these moments.

6. Maintain Routine

Establishing a consistent routine can provide comfort and stability for your loved one. Try to communicate with them at the same times each day, which can help reduce confusion and anxiety.

7. Be Patient and Flexible

Memory loss can lead to frustration for both the individual and their family. Be patient with yourself and your loved one. If a conversation becomes challenging or emotional, it’s okay to take a break and revisit it later when everyone is calmer.

8. Avoid Correcting or Contradicting

Resist the urge to correct or contradict your loved one if they make factual errors or false statements. Correcting them can lead to frustration and distress. Instead, redirect the conversation or focus on the emotions they are expressing.

9. Engage in Activities Together

Participating in activities together can be a wonderful way to connect. Simple activities like puzzles, painting, or listening to music can provide opportunities for engagement and shared experiences.

10. Seek Support and Education

Consider joining a support group for families of individuals with memory loss conditions. These groups provide a space to share experiences and learn from others facing similar challenges. Additionally, educating yourself about the specific condition your loved one has can help you better understand their needs and behaviors.


Effective communication with loved ones in memory care requires patience, empathy, and a willingness to adapt to their changing needs. By using these strategies and maintaining a focus on connection rather than correction, you can create moments of joy and closeness that will be cherished by both you and your loved one. Remember that each person is unique, and finding the right approach may take time, but the effort is well worth it to maintain meaningful connections in the face of memory loss.

Creating a Comfortable and Safe Environment for Seniors during Respite Stays

Introduction: Respite stays offer a well-deserved break for family caregivers while ensuring that their beloved seniors receive the care and attention they deserve. At our facility, we understand the importance of creating a comfortable and safe environment for our senior guests. We take pride in providing a warm, welcoming, and secure atmosphere that fosters a sense of belonging and contentment during their stay. In this blog, we’ll share our top tips and strategies for ensuring that seniors have a delightful and enriching experience while under our care.

  1. Thoughtful Room Arrangements: When seniors arrive at our facility, we want them to feel at home from the moment they step through the door. Thoughtful room arrangements play a key role in this process. Our accommodations are designed to be cozy, functional, and senior-friendly. We ensure that each room is well-furnished with comfortable beds, ample storage space, and easily accessible amenities. Personal touches like family photos or familiar belongings are encouraged to create a personalized and comforting environment.
  2. Safety First: The safety of our senior guests is our top priority. We conduct a thorough safety assessment of the entire facility to identify and address any potential hazards. Handrails, grab bars, and slip-resistant flooring are installed in bathrooms and common areas to prevent accidents. Our staff is trained in emergency response procedures, ensuring that immediate assistance is available if needed. Additionally, we have 24/7 surveillance to provide an extra layer of security and peace of mind.
  3. Engaging Activities and Social Interaction: We believe that a comfortable environment extends beyond the physical aspects; it’s also about fostering a sense of community and social connection. Our daily activities are tailored to cater to individual interests and abilities, encouraging seniors to participate and engage with one another. From arts and crafts to group exercises and movie nights, there’s always something exciting for our guests to look forward to.
  4. Nutritious and Delicious Meals: Good food is an essential part of a comfortable stay. Our facility offers a variety of nutritious and delicious meals, accommodating dietary preferences and restrictions. We make mealtimes enjoyable by creating a warm and inviting dining atmosphere where seniors can savor their meals while socializing with fellow guests and staff.
  5. Open Communication and Personalized Care: Maintaining open lines of communication with seniors and their families is crucial to understanding their needs and preferences. We encourage seniors to express their desires and concerns, and our dedicated staff ensures that each resident’s care plan is personalized to meet their unique requirements. This personalized approach fosters a sense of trust and comfort, knowing that their needs are being heard and addressed.

Conclusion: Creating a comfortable and safe environment for seniors during respite stays is at the heart of what we do. From thoughtfully arranged rooms to engaging activities and personalized care, our goal is to make our senior guests feel welcomed, cherished, and secure throughout their stay. We are committed to providing a nurturing home away from home, allowing family caregivers to take a much-needed break while having peace of mind that their loved ones are in excellent hands.

The Importance of Social Engagement for Seniors in Assisted Living

Introduction: Social engagement plays a pivotal role in the well-being and overall quality of life for seniors residing in assisted living facilities. It goes beyond mere interaction; it fosters a sense of belonging, connection, and purpose. In this blog post, we will explore why social engagement is crucial for seniors in assisted living and how it positively impacts their physical, emotional, and cognitive health.

  1. Combating Isolation and Loneliness: Discuss the challenges of isolation and loneliness that seniors may face in assisted living and highlight the importance of social engagement in combating these feelings. Explore the benefits of regular social interaction, fostering friendships, and participating in group activities to create a sense of community.
  2. Enhancing Mental and Emotional Well-being: Explain how social engagement stimulates cognitive abilities, memory retention, and emotional well-being. Discuss the positive effects of socialization on mental health, including reducing the risk of depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline. Showcase various social activities and programs that promote mental stimulation and emotional connection.
  3. Promoting Physical Health and Active Lifestyles: Highlight the importance of social activities in promoting physical health and an active lifestyle among seniors. Discuss the benefits of exercise classes, group outings, and recreational activities that encourage movement, strength, and overall physical well-being. Showcase the positive impact of regular social engagement on seniors’ physical health.
  4. Creating a Sense of Belonging and Purpose: Explore how social engagement helps seniors in assisted living feel a sense of belonging and purpose. Discuss the benefits of participating in group discussions, clubs, and volunteer opportunities that allow seniors to contribute, share experiences, and feel valued within the assisted living community. Showcase inspiring stories of seniors finding purpose and fulfillment through social engagement.
  5. Strengthening Social Support Networks: Explain how social engagement helps seniors build strong social support networks among their peers, caregivers, and staff members. Discuss the positive impact of these networks in times of emotional support, encouragement, and assistance. Highlight the importance of fostering meaningful connections and a supportive environment within the assisted living community.

Conclusion: Conclude by emphasizing the significance of social engagement in assisted living facilities and its profound impact on the overall well-being of seniors. Encourage assisted living communities to prioritize social activities, create opportunities for meaningful connections, and provide a supportive environment that fosters social engagement. By nurturing social interaction, we can enhance the lives of seniors in assisted living and contribute to their happiness, purpose, and overall quality of life.

The Vitality Quencher: Embracing the Importance of Staying Hydrated


Water, the elixir of life, is a fundamental requirement for human existence. Yet, in our fast-paced modern world, it is often overlooked and underestimated. Staying hydrated is not only essential for survival but also plays a significant role in maintaining our overall well-being. In this blog, we will dive into the profound importance of hydration and explore the numerous benefits it offers to our bodies and minds.

  1. The Foundation of Life:

Water is the primary component of our bodies, making up approximately 60% of our total body weight. It serves as a vital building block for cells, tissues, and organs, allowing them to function optimally. From regulating body temperature to aiding digestion, water is involved in nearly every physiological process within our bodies.

  1. Enhanced Physical Performance:

Whether you’re an athlete or simply enjoy an active lifestyle, staying hydrated is crucial for maximizing physical performance. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, reduced endurance, and impaired cognitive function, affecting your ability to excel in physical activities. By maintaining proper hydration levels, you can enhance your strength, endurance, and overall athletic performance.

  1. Cognitive Function and Mental Clarity:

Did you know that even mild dehydration can affect your brain’s performance? Research suggests that inadequate hydration can impair cognitive function, leading to difficulties in concentration, memory retention, and problem-solving. By keeping your body hydrated, you can ensure that your brain functions optimally, promoting mental clarity, focus, and overall cognitive abilities.

  1. Energy Boost:

Feeling sluggish and tired? Before reaching for that cup of coffee, try drinking a glass of water instead. Dehydration can often manifest as fatigue, as water plays a vital role in nutrient transport and energy production within our cells. By maintaining proper hydration, you can boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and stay alert throughout the day.

  1. Weight Management:

For those on a weight loss journey, hydration can be a valuable ally. Drinking water can help suppress appetite, increase metabolism, and assist in proper digestion. Additionally, swapping sugary beverages for water can significantly reduce your daily calorie intake. By incorporating adequate hydration into your weight management strategy, you set yourself up for success.

  1. Digestive Health:

Water is an indispensable aid in maintaining a healthy digestive system. It helps break down food, absorb nutrients, and prevent constipation. Insufficient hydration can lead to digestive issues such as indigestion, acid reflux, and irregular bowel movements. By staying hydrated, you support your digestive system’s smooth functioning and promote overall gastrointestinal health.

  1. Healthy Skin:

Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it requires adequate hydration to maintain its health and vitality. Dehydration can lead to dryness, flakiness, and an increased risk of skin disorders. By staying well-hydrated, you can help keep your skin supple, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and promote a healthy, radiant complexion.


Water is the essence of life, and staying properly hydrated is paramount to our well-being. From physical performance to mental acuity, weight management to skin health, the benefits of hydration are wide-ranging and profound. By prioritizing regular water intake and adopting healthy hydration habits, we empower our bodies and minds to function optimally. So, raise your glass and toast to the vitality quencher that is water—your passport to a healthier, more vibrant life. Stay hydrated, stay revitalized!

6 Ways Caregivers Can Show Themselves Much-Needed Self-Care

Being a caregiver is a noble position that requires a kind heart. However, it often leaves little time to think about or care for yourself. If you spend the majority of your time taking care of a senior loved one, consider these six ways (presented by Cadbury Commons) you can show yourself some love.


  1. Get Outside Help When You Need It

Caregiving is a full-time job, but you don’t have to take on every task yourself. If you feel overwhelmed, look for tasks you can delegate to someone else, either a family member or a professional. For example, hire someone to take care of landscaping. That’s a tedious task you can take off of your checklist. Get quotes and talk about your lawn needs before you meet with someone and read as many reviews as you can. You can even find companies that offer discounts and credits to help you save money.


  1. Make Time for Exercise

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, boost your mood, and feel better overall. Research shows exercise is a natural way to treat anxiety and depression. You don’t have to include an extensive workout or join a gym. You can get your heart rate up with some normal, everyday moving activities. For example, take the stairs when you have the opportunity or go for a walk during lunch on a beautiful day. Join a morning yoga class or get your family to join in for a fitness challenge. You can make exercise fun.


  1. Spend Time with Your Friends

Nurturing personal relationships that contribute positively to your life is an excellent form of self-care. If you haven’t seen your friend in a while, call them up and make plans. You can suggest a weekly dinner where everyone can catch up and spend time together. The same is true for your family. Schedule a date night with your spouse or have a family game night. Quality time with loved ones is good for overall wellbeing.


  1. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is a significant part of general wellness. If you’re supplying your body with a well-balanced meal, three times a day, you’ll have more energy and mental clarity. If you’re not sure what adjustments you need to make, start with something simple, such as making sure you meet all the major food groups with each meal.


  1. Go on an Overnight Trip

Sometimes getting away on a short trip is a great way to reset. It can be as simple as scheduling a night in a nearby hotel to order room service and watch your favorite shows. A new environment where someone serves you gives you the chance to relax and feel pampered. If you’re worried about cost, check Groupon for great deals.


  1. Start a New Hobby

Taking on a new hobby can be very fulfilling and a great way to turn off your mind for a moment. What is something you’ve always wanted to try but never did? Now is the time to try it. It can be as simple as knitting or as adventurous as skydiving.

Remember to be kind to yourself as you care for someone else. You will have good days and bad days, but you’ll be thankful you spent them with someone you love. As long as you make time to nurture your mental health, you’ll be able to appreciate each day.

For the highest standard of assisted living available, visit Cadbury Commons today!

Written by Harry Cline

The Benefits of Pet Therapy for Seniors

Our minds and bodies typically change as we age, which can affect our lives. From problems with their bodies to problems with their minds, seniors face many problems that make daily activities harder. But there is a straightforward solution that makes a big difference in the health and happiness of seniors: pet therapy.

In this blog, we’ll address the advantages of pet therapy for the elderly and how it can enhance their mental and physical wellbeing, relieve stress and solitude, and bring them joy and companionship.

Makes the Body Healthier

Pet therapy is an excellent way for seniors to improve their physical health, which is one of its main benefits. Studies have shown that being around animal companion can lower blood pressure, decrease the likelihood of coronary diseases, and even make people less likely to need medicine. In addition, petting a furry friend releases oxytocin, a hormone that makes you feel calmer and less stressed.

Pets can also help seniors feel like they have a reason to stay active and do physical activities. For example, walking a dog can help seniors get outside, get some oxygen and exercise, and even meet other pet owners. This routine can significantly affect seniors’ physical health and lower the likelihood of serious illnesses that come with being inactive.

Decrease Anxiety and Social Isolation

Older people face loneliness, and being away from others is among the most significant problems. This can result in depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. On the other hand, pet therapy makes people feel less stressed and lonely and encourage them to talk to others.

Research has shown that spending time with a pet reduces the stress hormone cortisol . This can calm seniors down and make them feel less anxious and tense. Pets can also give seniors company and help them meet new people, which makes them feel less isolated and lonely.

Provide Joy and Companionship

The most crucial thing pet therapy can do for seniors is bring them happiness and company. Pets love and accept their owners no matter what, which can significantly affect how seniors feel about themselves. This is particularly true for older people with possibly lost friends or family members or who live alone.

Pets can give seniors a sense of responsibility and purpose, increasing their sense of worth and incentivizing them to get out of bed in the morning. Also, pets are an excellent source of joy and entertainment, which can make seniors laugh and make their day better.

Various Pets Used for Therapies

Cats and dogs are the most common pets used in therapy, yet numerous additional animals can also be helpful to seniors. Some examples include:

Birds: Seniors can feel calm and relaxed when watching and caring for birds.

Fish: Just observing fish swim can be relaxing for seniors and make them feel less stressed.

Rabbits: Rabbits are gentle, social animals that can make seniors feel at ease and give them company.

Bottom Line

Pet therapy can significantly impact seniors’ physical and mental health, make them happier and less lonely, and provide happiness and companionship. If you’re older and want to improve your health, consider adopting a pet or volunteering with a pet rescue group. In addition, pets, like dogs, cats, birds, or rabbits, can give seniors unconditional love and acceptance, significantly impacting their quality of life.

memory care exercises

Top Ten Memory Care Exercises for the New Year

10 Brain-Boosting Memory Care Exercises

(excerpt from Everyday Health)

Research suggests that exercising your mind can help you stay sharp, but building and maintaining healthy habits is key. Stopping smoking, regular exercise, moderate alcohol consumption, and a healthy eating – especially a Mediterranean diet – can all help both body and brain and may also lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. So for 2023, why not make a New Year’s Resolution to keep or improve your skills with these memory care exercises?

A study, published in Neurology in July 2020, found that people who participate in multiple healthy behaviors significantly reduce their risk for Alzheimer’s disease….For about six years, the study tracked five healthy lifestyle behaviors — nonsmoking, regular physical activity, low to moderate alcohol consumption, adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet, and engagement in activities that boost cognitive skills — in nearly 2,800 adults and found that those who followed at least four of the behaviors were about 60 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Test your recall. Make a list — grocery items, things to do, or anything else that comes to mind — and memorize it. An hour or so later, see how many items you can recall. Make the list as challenging as possible for the greatest mental stimulation. One small past study suggested that writing and organizing lists helped older adults recall word lists more effectively.
  2. Let the music play. Learn to play a musical instrument or join a choir. Learning new and complex skills is good for the aging brain, and a past review published in The Gerontologist suggested that musical activities (like playing a musical instrument, singing in a choir, or taking piano lessons) showed particular promise for healthy brain aging, though research is limited.
  3. Do math in your head. Figure out problems without the aid of a pencil, paper, or computer. One small study, published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology in 2021, suggested that solving math problems had a positive effect on participants’ cognition. You can make this exercise more difficult — and athletic — by walking at the same time.
  4. Take a cooking class. Learn how to cook a new cuisine. Cooking uses a number of senses — smell, touch, sight, and taste — that involve different parts of the brain. Plus, you’ll use cognitive skills like planning the meal, problem-solving, crafting a grocery list, multi-tasking, and organizing, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
  5. Learn a foreign language. The listening and hearing involved in learning a new language stimulates the brain. Plus, being bilingual was associated with a lower risk of developing dementia in one meta-analysis published in October 2020 in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
  6. Create word pictures. Visualize the spelling of a word in your head, and then try to think of other words that begin (or end) with the same two letters.
  7. Draw a map from memory. After returning home from visiting a new place, try to draw a map of the area. Repeat this exercise each time you go somewhere new. One past study, which focused on London taxi drivers (who are expected to memorize the complex layout of the city), found that drivers who successfully memorized the city map showed permanent changes to brain structure and better cognitive function.
  8. Challenge your taste buds. When eating, try to identify individual ingredients in your meal, including subtle herbs and spices.
  9. Refine your hand-eye coordination. Take up a new hobby that involves fine motor skills, and can help you keep your hand-eye coordination sharp. Per Harvard Health Publishing, this could include racquet sports, tai chi, knitting, drawing, painting, or playing video games.
  10. Learn a new sport. Start doing an athletic exercise. A review published in Frontiers in Psychology in December 2019 noted that boosting your balance, strength, and aerobic capacity — that is, your body’s ability to use oxygen for energy — can help protect your brain as you age. Morley specifically suggests yoga, golf, or tennis as exercises that boost brain health, while Harvard Health Publishing recommends swimming for its brain-boosting benefits.

Visit our Memory Care page to learn about our program at Cadbury Commons >

new alzheimer's drug study

New Alzheimer’s Drug Cuts Symptoms by 30 Percent, New Study Says

Researchers are excited by the results of a new Alzheimer’s drug—delivered in the form of twice weekly infusions—which appears to slash symptoms nearly 30 percent in about 18 months of usage. This breakthrough could help to improve millions of individuals living with Alzheimer’s both in the United States and across the world.

“This is an unambiguously statistically positive result and represents something of an historic moment when we see the first convincing modification of Alzheimer’s disease,” Rob Howard, PhD, a professor of old age psychiatry at University College London (UCL), as reported in The Guardian. “God knows, we’ve waited long enough for this.”

New Alzheimer’s Drug Lecanemab Show Promise and Provides Clues

The drug companies Eisai and Biogen recently announced results their phase 3, 18-month clinical trial involving the Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab, which is classified as an anti-amyloid antibody treatment. The data shows that lecanemab slowed the rate of the decline in cognition by 27 percent in patients with early stage Alzheimer’s. Moreover, experts say the trial’s success sheds more light on how Alzheimer’s disease may develop and progress.

One theory, called “amyloid hypothesis,” postulates that a sticky compound disrupting communication between brain cells and eventually kills them. “Some researchers believe that flaws in the processes governing production, accumulation or disposal of beta-amyloid are the primary cause of Alzheimer’s,” explains a report from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Researchers caution that some trial participants did experience side effects of the new Alzheimer’s drug. Roughly 21 percent of study subjects reported adverse effects as opposed to nine percent of those taking a placebo. 3 percent of patients experienced brain swelling or brain bleeding according to PET scans.

With more time beyond the 18-month trial period, researchers believe that more benefits may take effect. The National Institute on Health (NIH) is currently funding two additional trials which in order to evaluate people that are NOT diagnosed with dementia but have varying amounts of amyloid brain deposits.  In other words, they hope to see whether or not the new Alzheimer’s drug can slow the rate of cognitive decline in people who are asymptomatic.

When is the New Alzheimer’s Drug Available?

Eisai and Biogen have announced that they plan to file for traditional approval for the drug in the U.S. by Mar. 2023.  To learn more about interventions and treatments that are currently available to improve dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms, please see your healthcare provider.

Learn more about our Memory Care program >

Read also this article about the possible Alzheimer’s vaccine nasal spray >


New study hints as to why Women’s Alzheimer’s Risk is higher than men’s

Newly identified mechanism may explain Women’s Alzheimer’s risk

According to the CDC, women are nearly twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer’s disease, but doctors and scientists aren’t sure why Women’s Alzheimer’s risk is greater.

The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s affects nearly 6 million people in North America. With the population aging, this number is expected to grow and could even reach as high as 14 million people in 30 years from now in just the United States.

Discovering why and how the disease occurs – especially in women who are more at risk – is essential for early intervention and developing new therapeutics. Researchers have tried to understand why Alzheimer’s, but not other forms of dementia, is more prevalent in females and have hypothesized that menopause, longer life expectancy, and the immune system are all factors.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland now believe they have found some genetic variants on the X chromosome that may be linked to Women’s Alzheimer’s risk.

Medical News Today had a detailed article on this study if you want to read more, but – in essence – researchers found that some genes on the X chromosome do not ‘shut off’ as they should, which can be a contributing factor in women developing the disease.

All human females have a pair of X chromosomes. Early during embryo development one of the X chromosomes will be inactivated, and all cells in the female human body have just one X chromosome that is transcriptionally active. [Researchers have] proposed that one of the genes that escape X chromosome inactivation could contribute to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s in females. It appears in CellTrusted Source.

Getting Closer to Understanding Women’s Alzheimer’s Risk

These novel findings are helping researchers target new genes for additional studies.

Learn more about Cadbury Commons Memory Care Program