As assisted living centers across the country reach out to areas during World Alzheimer’s disease Awareness Month, care facilities in The Woodlands have one big concept for group members: They are here to help. Autumn Leaves in of The Woodlands Memory Care, in particular, is featuring its childcare and respite care programs, which offer daily stays at its facility from Monday through Friday. The day-stay program is offered to Woodlands-area citizens absolutely free on Fridays, Executive Director Luis Carillo said.
“We are dedicated to individuals that are working with harmful dementia-related diseases day in and day out,” Carillo said. “We focus not only on care-giving for specific types of dementia, but also with actions that help with socializing, exercises and religious actions.” By providing programs like day stays, care providers and close relatives are given a chance to rest and recover. They also allow future residents to ease into the conversion process of moving completely into assisted living centers, Carillo said.
Rina Hanel knows all too well the complications that close relatives and partners face when working with the severe facts of dementia. Her spouse Greg has been at Autumn Leaves in for the past year. “The greatest thing you have to do is agree to it,” Hanel said. “It can start with simple things like misunderstandings, failing to remember things, losing track of things and just advances from there. You really have to agree to what exactly is occurring to the person you love as there are so many people out there in denial.” Hanel said her spouse has adjusted well to Autumn Leaves and has been passionately referred to as The Hat Man because of his many preferred caps. Due to his sickness, he hardly ever talks but usually spends his time cheerful and silently monitoring his environment. Moving him to the service was a huge step, as the two have been wedded for more than 54 years. However, Hanel highlighted that she has no remorse. “I think the important thing is that he may not know me all the time,” Hanel said. “But I know him.”