The Mind is a Wonderful Place
The most common misconception about the elderly is that they spend their days managing their physical health issues. The reality is that most of the elderly spend their days dealing with mental health, in the form of helplessness, loneliness, and boredom for most, and a spectrum of dementia for many. At Solano Life House, we are committed to creating an environment where life revolves around familial staff, elderly peers, and regular engagement with the outside visiting community in the form of entertainment, therapy pets, and the spectrum of generations to include school children so that our residents feel that they are a part of a community, not removed from it. Companionship is essential to everyone and that is especially true for seniors as their lives slow down, they lose spouses, and begin to feel less active and vital in others' lives. We believe that it is essential for the elderly to actively avoid isolation and a sense of irrelevance by engaging with the world through the benefits of a robust communal lifestyle, so Solano Life House strives to provide a place where seniors can remain engaged and active with like-minded elders, no matter their level of cognitive abilities.
Solano Life House is a home that affords our residents a venue to avoid helplessness, loneliness, and boredom by creating a lively space where daily life comes with variety and spontaneity. Our goal is to stimulate the mind by creating an environment where unexpected and unpredictable interactions and happenings take place. Inactivity and mindless routine corrodes the human spirit. Remaining immersed in a pool of people and a swell of activities keeps the mind active and stimulated and is immeasurably beneficial to an elderly person's overall health and mental well being.
Often in cases of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, seniors begin to lose the ability to communicate effectively. But research shows that this loss in communication does not necessarily correlate to a similar level of loss in cognitive function, and so seniors are too often overlooked and disregarded based on their inability to effectively communicate. Our staff has been trained to understand this and treats all of our residents with the assumption that the residents' level of understanding will always far exceed their level of communication, and we therefore offer interraction with this understanding in place, believing that the more dignity, respect, and communication afforded a resident, the greater the response from and understanding by the resident. This serves to afford an essential sense of independence amongst our residents, greatly enhancing their days and reducing their anxieties. One of the ways we employ this philosophy is by de-emphasizing authority, seeking instead to work with and within our residents' individual needs, abilities, and personalities. Our residents live with independence amongst others and are afforded as much freedom and choice in their days as they are able to manage.
In addition to ensuring the physical well being of our residents, we also believe in attending to their mental well being with an active, dynamic environment. We encourage all of our residents to participate to the extent of their interests and capabilities and promote socialization no matter the stage of life. We believe strongly in being a part of the community; not being removed from it and remaining a part of the community helps our residents feel engaged, stimulated and relevant. We promote an active environment, bringing in entertainment and therapy pets, and encourage exercise, stretching, and massages and enjoy routine visits by local school children to offer cheer and add vibrancy to the environment. We are also firm believers in the power of music and accordingly have music playing at all meal times, bring in musical entertainment, invite participation in karaoke sing-alongs, and for personal pleasure and mental stimulation, we supply ipods for residents with the music that interests them most. Please see the Music Therapy link below for a video highlighting the amazing impact that music therapy can have for enlivening the elderly and triggering memories for those with dementia.