Specialized Memory Care Program for Dementia

Pathways to Memory – specialized memory care for Utah seniors and individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments

For me, Alzheimer’s care means thinking about my mother, Marvelle, who died peacefully in her home on October 23, 2009.

specialized memory care programs for dementia in utahDying peacefully in her home was our goal when we started sending a caregiver to help her. Of course, she didn’t want the help. She could do it on her own, she thought. I convinced her that my sisters could no longer help clean her house and that if she allowed someone to come in to help, she could spend time doing fun things with her daughters. She agreed. On October 16, 2006 we sent her first caregiver. This is a picture of mom from around that time. For the next year and a half, working with mom meant helping her around the house, cleaning, cooking and going on errands.

We could tell that she was declining over time. By December of 2007 she wasn’t engaging in conversation very much. When I visited, I would generally find her on her couch, sometimes with the curtains closed in the middle of the day. She didn’t do much when the caregiver wasn’t around. When she visited my house for Sunday dinner, she and dad sat on the couch and waited to be called for dinner. Directly after dinner, my sister would take them home. I knew we needed to take quick action or she would slide into advanced Alzheimer’s disease, just like her sister Ethel did. In January 2008, we started her on our Pathways to Memory program.

The change wasn’t immediate, but it was dramatic. After about six weeks, when she came for Sunday dinner she was no longer sitting on the couch. She asked how she could help. She set the table, washed potatoes and engaged in conversation. In April she was able to attend my son’s wedding. Most of her time at the wedding was great. But, she was lost at times, as you can see in this picture.

specialized memory care for Utah seniorsShe continued receiving Pathways to Memory sessions until July of 2009. At that point, the sessions were no longer very effective. She declined quickly and passed away peacefully. I recorded her last couple of months in a blog. Check it out here.

pathwaysI’m grateful for the resource I had to share with my mother of Pathways to Memory. She knew me until the end. A few days before she died, she spoke her last words to me, “I love you.” Pathways to Memory provided the means by which mom was able to stay in her home and know me until the end.

We offer Pathways to Memory as a free part of our Alzheimer’s and dementia care services if you want it and your loved one will participate in it. We can discuss it at our FREE initial consultation. Call us today, our phones are answered live 24/7. For immediate help with your loved one, please check out our Guide to Living With Dementia, or give us a call and we’ll be happy to bring one to your home.

Pathways to Memory Videos
Pathways to Memory Study Results

April 17, 2009

On March 23, 2009, we started a Pathways to Memory program at Sunrise Assisted Living, Sandy Utah with the support of the Alzheimer’s Association of Utah.  The study is to last six weeks.  It involves residents living in the Reminiscence Unit (Rem), which is the Alzheimer’s lock down unit, and in Assisted Living (AL).  On April 16, 2009 we had a meeting with some of the family members and staff of Sunrise to discuss how things are going.  Following are the comments made by family members, staff at Sunrise who are working with the residents on a daily basis and our Pathways Partners:

Barbara D. (80, AL)

Barbara has been more calm and cooperative at 3:00 socials; her social interaction has improved.  Barbara came to get her nails done for the 1st time ever.  – Staff.

Betty G. (77, Rem)

  1. Major – my mother is now cooperative in bathing. 2. My mother is more cooperative over all. 3. My mother is usually very uncooperative when I take her to the doctor.  She was much better today. 4.  Anxiety has gone down.  5.  Seems more content. – Son.  (The son also told me that he feels less guilty about not spending more time with his mother because he knows she is now so much happier and more involved in the community.)

Less hostile situations – very pleasant attitude majority of time.  Responds well with direct answers and being cognitive.  – Staff.

Beverly T. (78, Rem)

Participating more; anxiety is maybe a bit less; memory, no clear picture of improvement. – Husband.

Beverly is more independent using the restroom.  – Staff.

Beverly has been more calm and a lot less timid.  She isn’t so afraid to use the bathroom with verbal cues.  She is remembering other residents’ names and interacting more with them.  She has been joking with them and very engaged both one on one and in a group. – Staff.

Jean and Bev get along very well.  They talked for a good hour or hour and a half.  They helped each other out with lunch. – Staff.  (These two residents had not interacted previously.)

Beverly H. (81, AL)

Housekeeper mentioned that she is much easier to work with.  Doesn’t complain as much and is more pleasant.  Used to complain constantly.  – Pathways Partner.

Floyd H. (85, Rem)

More outgoing.  Talkative and physical “conditioning.”  – Son (The son talked about Floyd walking without his walker and being more stable on his feet.)

He is a lot more talkative and more alert.  He is happier.  Deb (the Reminiscence Unit manager) said he did “Karaoke” and got everyone up and going.  Not so anxious. – Daughter.

Floyd has really blossomed.  He is more involved in activities where before he isolated himself in his room.  Floyd and I had a 30 minute conversation which was completely coherent.  I believe Floyd is more engaged and involved all the time.  When I invite Floyd to activities, he is happy to join us.  – Staff.

George K. (91, AL)

Wants to keep the program going.  Asks caregiver if she will continue with him after the study is done. – Staff.

Jack D. (92, Rem)

Jack has been seeking more interaction, he comes out of his room ready to talk and participate in activities.  – Staff.

Very cognitive with one on one situations.  – Staff.

Cooperative showering.  – Staff.

Jean A (81, Rem)

The people involved in Pathways recognize each other, sit together and have a sense of community.  For example, Jean was having a rough day, and Nelson, Wayne and Ron all sat beside her and comforted her.  She told them how much she appreciated their support. – Staff.

Beverly and Jean get along very well.  They enjoy talking to each other and helping each other out with meals. – Staff.

Nelson L. (82, Rem)

Cognitive abilities, especially one on one, are much better.  Can answer and respond to questions and situations while understanding and being focused.  – Staff.

Ronald P. (85, Rem)

Refused to participate directly in Pathways, but will engage in the common room as Barbara works with others.  Is more social now.  He now interacts with the other Pathways clients.  He is going on outings now.  Prior to starting Pathways, he spent most of the time in his room.  – Pathways Partner.

Ruth F. (84, AL)

Ruth has been less agitated at dinner time – before she would refuse all menu items.  Ruth has been calmer and more cooperative. – Staff.

Viola K. (86, AL)

Viola is more talkative and responsive – usually she is quiet.  She is now able to refuse items on the menu that she does not want, which she did not do before.  Viola has overall been more vocal about her needs.  Viola has been more assertive in telling care managers she wants to attend activities – even if her husband disagrees. – Staff.

Wayne R. (85, Rem)

I’ve seen some improvement in my Dad’s ability to carry on a conversation.  He is very aware of what is happening.  Problem solving seems improved.  –Daughter

Wayne has been very compassionate and reaching out to other residents in the community.  He seems more happy and less anxious.  – Staff.

Complimentary In-Home Care Needs Evaluation

When you are faced with the challenge of finding an in home care provider to help care for the emotional and physical well being of someone you love, maybe your mom or dad, you will be faced with many questions.

Making the decision about in-home care for a loved one is never easy, but finding the right answers can help you feel more comfortable with the options available and confident in your final decision. That’s why Homewatch CareGivers provides prospective clients and their families with a complimentary, no obligation in home care needs assessment.

In our meeting, we will thoroughly discuss your care needs and work with you or your loved one to determine how best to meet your requirements. After evaluating your home care goals we will have a better understanding of your loved ones physical, emotional and cognitive needs and will work with you to create a personalized plan of care.


As part of the Homewatch CareGivers nationwide family with over 30 years of experience, we are backed with the resources of one of America’s largest and most trusted home care service organizations.

Homewatch CareGivers is a licensed, professional home care agency dedicated to providing quality in-home care, senior care, dementia care and specialized care services throughout the State of Utah including Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, Weber and Surrounding Counties.

We provide our in-home care services to residents of American Fork, Bountiful, Brigham City, Clearfield, Clinton, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Farmington, Herriman, Holladay, Kaysville, Kearns, Layton, Lehi, Logan, Midvale, Millcreek, Morgan, Murray, North Salt Lake, Ogden, Orem, Payson, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Riverton, Roy, Salt Lake City, Sandy, Santaquin, South Jordan, Spanish Fork, Syracuse, Taylorsville, Tooele, West Valley City, Woods Cross and other Utah communities.