In the dementia care world, Symphony at Olmsted Falls stands apart

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A comprehensive host of services at Symphony at Olmsted Falls, from physical therapy to physicians, beauticians, rehab services, therapy dogs, cooking demonstrations and hospice are all available. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studios)

By Patricia Nugent

Over the past month since he’s moved to Symphony at Olmsted Falls, Carol L. says her father, John, has undergone a complete transformation. 

“He was in a 55-and-over apartment setting and wasn’t socializing with anyone,” she recalls. 

“He wasn’t eating, rarely left his place and he kept calling me in the middle of the night agitated. I got to know the Parma police, as Dad kept setting off his alarm. It was definitely time for a change.”

She asked her daughter, an investigator of senior care facilities, for help with a recommendation.

“My daughter had just visited Symphony and told me the staff and level of care were wonderful,” says Carol. “So, we moved him in.”

Carol says that over his first few weeks there, her dad went from a crabby recluse to socializing with the other men. 

“He’s eating three meals a day now, walks the perimeter of the building each morning and is not at all agitated. He seems at home. The staff and other residents have gone out of their way to make him feel welcome. As soon as Megan Corrigan, who is the executive director, found out he liked watching birds, she installed a birdhouse right outside his window.”

And when the staff discovered he enjoyed puzzles, they set one up in his studio. As each staff member stopped in to welcome John, they’d put a piece in the puzzle and get to know him.

Carol mentions before moving to Symphony, John’s safety was becoming a concern, and that now she knows he will be fine.

“I’m also thankful to another one of the residents, Richard, who acts as an unofficial ambassador, always welcoming new people and making sure they become immersed in the activities,” she says.


A Perfect Fit
When it came time for Don R. to find a good fit for his 91-year-old mother, Ruby, he toured several places in the area.

“This place felt cozy and homey,” he says. 

“The staff seemed engaged with the other people. I could tell when we walked in that my mother would make friends here. And unlike other larger places, this felt safe. I have peace of mind knowing she’s enjoying her time. When we come to visit, we always find her socializing with a group of friends.”

He mentions the staff goes out of its way to make families feel welcome, and that their grandkids love coming to visit.

Tucked back into a quiet wooded area on Elm Street, Symphony’s restful, pastoral interior décor mirrors the secluded feeling.

“Our community is designed for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, our home-like and peaceful setting creates a calming atmosphere for our residents to enjoy,” says Megan. 

“Our activities and programming are customized to help guide them on their journey and respect the individuality they bring to our community.”

Symphony offers a comprehensive host of services including on site therapies, 24 hour nursing, and on site physician services to accommodate the resident’s needs. They offer a variety of daily activities and socialization to engage the residents. The programming is designed for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s.                        

“Preserving dignity and enhancing quality of life—no matter where someone is on their journey with dementia—is our goal,” says Megan.


A Modern Approach to Memory Support
Symphony created the In the Moment program as a team approach to care delivery that’s different from outdated dementia care practices.

“We recognize that each person we care for is unique. We meet the residents in the moment they are experiencing and engage them kindly and compassionately to guide them through their day,” says Megan.

The holistic program is based on six principals of well-being: physical engagement, spiritual support, artistic expression, community connections, continuing education and lifestyle and leisure.

Families Know They are Not Alone
Megan says working with families is one of her favorite parts of the job. And she’s pleased the Caregiver Support Group at Symphony has been gaining steam. On a monthly basis, caregivers meet to share their stories, questions and concerns with others, and it’s been a help for them.

“We want families to think of us as a resource of support, to let them know they are not alone in dealing with memory loss,” she says. “Families are invited to be a part of every step of the residents’ lives as they follow their journey. Open lines of communication help us create the best experience possible.”

They also offer a full slate of events families can take part in. For instance, last month, ladies enjoyed a Mother’s Day Tea and Garden Party with a fashion show.

Symphony at Olmsted Falls is located at 25880 Elm Street in Olmsted Falls. Respite care and adult day care programs are also available. For more information, call 440-230-3591 or visit SymphonyatOlmstedFalls.com.

Categories: Westside Smart Living