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New memory care center opens at Shell Point

February 12, 2019
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Shell Point Retirement Community recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a newly constructed 28-bed, 21,182-square-foot memory care center, called Connected Living at The Springs.

The center will provide residential care for seniors with age-related cognitive diseases, including Alzheimer's and other various forms of dementia.

"It's been a joy to welcome new residents to Connected Living at The Springs," Christine Gulotta, memory care director of Connected Living, said. "Their new home was designed to provide cozy spaces, a calming atmosphere and a safe environment full of sensory-rich stimuli."

Article Photos

Shell Point Retirement Community recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new 28-bedroom, 21,182-square-foot memory support center, called Connected Living at The Springs. Shown are, from left, Sunny Torres, Tammie Fraser, Sharon Dobbins, Christy Skinner, Gary Goforth, Dave Heuring, Amber Caton, Jason Smith, Justin Schiff, Kelly Scott, Ronette Icso, Martin Schappell, Adam Hinds, Fran DeMarco, Steve Morrison, Josh Beverly, Reggie Morgan, Tim Lochridge, Kayla Pudlin Harm, Rita Southern and Christine Gulotta.

To complete the project, Shell Point partnered with DeAngelis Diamond, Wegman Design Group, Stantec, RDG Planning and Design and Johnson Engineering.

The floorplan of the building is arranged into two groupings of 14 apartments each, which function as cohesive households. Each household has established its own, unique rhythm that is familiar to residents and helps daily experiences feel natural. Staffing is kept consistent within each, allowing for relationship-based interaction between residents and the support specialists providing their care.

"The result is a homelike environment for residents that is secure while also allowing for freedom of movement both indoors and outdoors," Gulotta said. "Residents can bring their own furnishings to individualize their apartments to their taste. This further establishes a comfortable setting that feels just like home."

The interior design of the building is tranquil, with muted pastels, conversational artwork and comfortable fabrics. Clerestory window features provide natural light, which studies have shown to positively impact the circadian rhythms of those with dementia; amber-colored lighting is used in restrooms, which helps provide visual cues for safer nighttime navigation; and memory box displays are located outside of resident's private apartments, serving as a means to recall their personal space.

Connected Living at The Springs features 26 private rooms and two companion suites, two full community kitchens with dining seating, a salon, walk-in bather spa and laundry and linen service. The center also offers an arts and programming room, a chapel and two outdoor spaces that feature musical instruments and sensory objects to promote creative expression. In addition, the programming that is offered has been customized specifically for the needs of individuals with advanced memory loss.

"A specialized program offered in the new memory support building incorporates specialist level employee development, relationship-based care and dynamic programming that allows residents to thrive within a robust and structured environment," Gulotta said.

Shell Point partnered with author and architect David Troxel to tailor how the care team interacts with each resident. This style of communication advocates treating each resident as a unique, valued individual whose past life experiences and personal interests are incorporated to enrich their present lifestyle, patterns and routines.

Additional signature programs include research-based music therapy, interactive technology and guided art explorations that offer creative expression. Memory fitness sessions through the Shell Point Wellness Connection promote healthy lifestyle strategies to lower the risk associated with dementia.

"For more than 50 years, Shell Point has been dedicated to providing seniors with the highest level of excellence in health care," Shell Point President Martin Schappell said. "Connected Living is another example of our ongoing commitment to offer residents peace of mind that they will be taken care of for the rest of their lives."

Connected Living at The Springs is at 13901 Shell Point Plaza, Fort Myers.

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