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Poydras Home’s ongoing dedication to exceptional support for those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias makes us a leader in memory care and quality of life enhancement. Assisted Living residents with Alzheimer’s and other memory support needs live in a harmonious, family-style space within a secure space known as Seasons at Oak House Assisted Living. Seasons includes private accommodations, each with a bedroom and en suite bathroom, and garden views. Residents enjoy community living and dining spaces with home-cooked meals served restaurant style from an open concept kitchen, access to a secure garden with patio and walking paths, and a higher caregiver-to-resident ratio. Each Memory Support resident is treated with unending compassion and given the dignity and respect they deserve.
Made possible through an Innovation Grant from the I’m Still Here Foundation, Generation 2 Generation Baking pairs our Seasons at Oak House Assisted Living memory care residents with 2nd grade students from The Willow School (formerly Lusher) at the New Orleans SPCA! These intergenerational groups work together to bake homemade dog treats for the shelter animals. While the treats bake, everyone enjoys an outdoor visit with a dog available for adoption.
In preparation for each visit, the school children discuss the aging process with their teachers and learn about dementia. Our residents are charmed and delighted by both the children and the animals. They all recognize the positive impact their collaboration has on animals in need and on our community.
Watch WWL TV coverage of our program here.
Poydras Home hosts free monthly caregiver support meetings endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, held on the second Tuesday of each month from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on our campus at 5354 Magazine Street. All are welcome to share their experiences and learn strategies for success. Contact Elena Cambre at 504-897-0535 to attend.
Poydras Home introduced a Montessori-inspired, specialized memory support program in 2013 that allows each resident to retain their unique voice. The “I’m Still Here”™ Montessori Program, originating from the Hearthstone Institute in Boston, MA, empowers residents to make meaningful choices in how they spend their days. Poydras Home is the only certified “I’m Still Here”™ Center of Excellence in the South. This quality care approach includes regular visits by a licensed art therapist to guide both individuals and collaborative, highly expressive, sensory art projects that are then exhibited for all of Poydras Home to enjoy. This holistic endeavor allows our passionately supportive staff to unlock the inner worlds of those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias, significantly broadening and deepening our Memory Care residents’ interactions and connections to the world around them.
Since 2015, Poydras Home has enjoyed a collaboration with the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) to host regular, ongoing outings to the museum through an art enrichment pilot program designed to enhance communication and connections through visual art. Through Artful Minds, our Memory Care residents are nurtured as they experience a pre-selected variety of art installations, led by specially trained docents who coax expressive reactions and verbalizations from even the most reticent of residents.
Beginning in 2016, Poydras Home partnered with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) to provide specialized music therapy designed to benefit people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Soul Strings for Seniors: Musical Memories, the first program of its kind in our area, is delivered by four string musicians led by a licensed music therapist. A broader audience of Poydras Home residents are additionally invited to attend open rehearsals of the full LPO.
Music-informed therapy has been proven to support and increase the quality of life and functional skill sets for seniors in need of memory care. Soul Strings for Seniors: Musical Memories offers sensory and intellectual stimulation through exposure to creative culture. It supports connections between speech and singing, rhythm, and motor behavior, while enhancing memory through song and mood elevation. Poydras Home CEO Erin Kolb notes, “LPO musicians are working with a licensed music therapist in sessions that complement and reinforce therapy goals such as improving communication, memory, and attention skills. The intimate setting with small groups of our residents allows the musicians to extend their talents in a new direction, impacting wellness as they reach members of our population who can find traditional modes of communication difficult.”
Poydras Home has a rich tradition of engaging with young people. In addition to frequent visits from elementary school choirs during the holiday season, we also host regular game days with the Louise S. McGehee School 8th graders. Student create educational presentations and games based on their course curriculum for our elders.
Since 2013, Poydras Home has partnered with Tulane University’s Center for Public Service. In 2019 this program expanded to include service learning students from psychology and biology courses at Loyola University New Orleans. These students spend a portion of each week on our campus. They assist with holiday events and engage our elders, sharing interests, discussing life stories and facilitating special programs alongside our Life Enrichment and memory support team members. During the pandemic these students developed a “Student Friendship” program through Zoom. Elders from our Senior Day Program and within our resident community have been able to continue their meaningful connections in this new way.
Poydras Home also partners with Camp Able, a Ministry of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church Youth Group for teens and young adults with special needs. Camp Able members visit our Seasons at Oak House Assisted Living residents monthly, collaborating on story writing activities we publish and share at the end of each year. Interaction between our seniors and Camp Able has proven to be warm, creative, engaging, and mutually beneficial.
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