My loved one doesn’t need that much care right now. How do I know when it’s a good time to move into Barton House?
Keeping people with dementia stimulated, cognitively, socially, and physically, is critical to quality of life, and may indeed slow down the disease’s progression. As we meet your loved one and assess their needs, we can tell you if and when Barton House will be an appropriate fit. We will never recommend full time residency if it is not the appropriate path.
Do you separate residents based on the level of care they need?
No, we are all in this together. We expect that as people age in place with us that the disease will progress and their needs will change. Instead of bouncing them around the building to suit our preference, we want them to stay in their rooms, where there are familiar surroundings with familiar faces. This also allows for residents who are natural caregivers to love and nurture their peers, holding hands, stopping by to say hello, and sharing moments together.
Why are your resident rooms so small?
Our rooms are small by design. Small bedrooms are less overwhelming, and they encourage residents to see Barton House as their home—as opposed to just their room. Isolation, inactivity and lack of stimulation cause Alzheimer’s and dementia to progress more rapidly, and can cause depression and paranoia. Active involvement in our community helps to alleviate some of those symptoms.
How important is it for residents to have personal items in their rooms?
This is often more important for family members than for residents. Early to mid-stage residents respond more to personal items and may carry things around to share and talk about their loved ones. In later stages these items become less familiar to the resident, but family members take comfort from seeing their loved one in familiar surroundings.
Should we bring photos and art from grandchildren to help them remember or recognize people when they visit?
You are welcome to personalize your loved one’s personal space. While a family member's name may escape them and they may not remember, most people enjoy the familiarity of family pictures, and it can help the whole family with the transition into residential care.
What is the best time of day to visit or check on my loved one?
While we welcome families to visit at any time, we do tell them that if you didn’t visit mom at 11:00 at night, now is probably not the time to start. Most residents do better in the earlier part of the day. They are slowly getting up in the morning and are at their best between 10am-3pm. "Sundowning” is a term we use for that time later in the day when residents tend to become more agitated and confused. It’s common that at this time they will not be at their best for visitors.
My mom is a picky eater, what can she expect each day and how often does the menu change?
Dramatic weight loss over a short period is often what prompts families to come to Barton House. “Picky eaters" are often overwhelmed either by too many choices or by the activity of preparing and sitting down for a meal. They end up eating the same pimento cheese sandwich everyday not because it's their favorite but it's the only thing they can remember to point to on a large menu. This is very common in regular assisted living facilities. Because their sense of taste is strongest for sweets, it’s not uncommon for this population to eat only ice cream at home. Providing balanced meals at scheduled times every day is very important. We walk all of our residents to the dining room for each meal. No accidentally missing meals because they forgot to come down to the dining room or like to sleep until noon. Nutrition and hydration are key.
Our kitchen is open and our residents really enjoy watching our staff cook. We use real ingredients, try new recipes and enjoy helpful hints from our residents, to provide familiar comfort foods that are common to the average Nashvillian. Fancy or elaborate foods are not appealing to our residents.
Your meal schedule is different than other assisted living facilities; how come?
This is very intentional, to meet the needs of Alzheimer's patients. As they get up in the morning, we have juice, coffee, cereal, and muffins available. Residents get up at different times and we don’t expect they will be up, dressed and ready to eat breakfast at 7am. Having food available early on allows us to take our time with residents as we assist them with their ADL's (Activities of Daily Living) like dressing, bathing, shaving and getting ready for the day. Our first big, hot meal is brunch at 10:30, lunch is at 1:30, dinner at 4:30 and then we have snacks later in the day. We frequently give them drinks throughout the day, because dehydration is a big concern with our population and something we are always working to stay ahead of. Families are surprised at how well even a “picky eater” will eat when everyone else around them is enjoying a meal. And if there is a special preference (mom doesn’t like onions or eat beef, for example), we are happy to provide an alternative. And if they simply don't want to eat, smaller more frequent meals mean we can try again in just a few hours.
What is the policy on bringing children to Barton House? I know they want to visit their grandparents.
We love having children come to visit! Bring them anytime and encourage them to talk, hug and show affection, even if they don't understand the changes they are seeing. Most of us have children that spend a lot of time here at Barton House. It's good for the residents and the kids.
How much outside time will my dad get?
He will have open access to the outdoors. No stairs, no elevators, and a covered patio in case the weather isn't perfect. We check on residents frequently and bring folks inside if it is too hot or cold. As a small community, we are very aware of where everyone is in the building. Outdoor areas are closely watched and enjoyed by staff and residents.