Media contact: Julie Sheedy
315-413-3480 or [email protected]
June 17, 2021 (Syracuse, N.Y.) – The Longest Day – the day with the most sunlight – is coming up on Sunday June 20th. While June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, The Longest Day is a particularly significant opportunity to raise awareness about both Alzheimer’s disease and the importance of sunlight to Alzheimer’s patients.
Loretto’s Memory Life Community, which opened only a few months ago in November 2020, is now opening its doors to show the community how this facility was built and designed with the unique needs of Alzheimer’s patients and benefits of natural light in mind.
*Media opportunity – must RSVP to secure visitor spot*
WHEN: Friday, June 18 between 10 a.m. to noon
WHERE: The Borer Memory Life Community, 1307 Nottingham Road, Jamesville, NY 13078
WHO: Two Loretto staff ready for interviews
*PHOTO OPP: So many activities! Memory care residents will be planting new seasonal flowers and herbs in the two-story indoor garden, as well as other activities both indoors and outdoors designed to support dementia patients through the use of natural sunlight.
The two-story indoor Founder’s Garden has large wall-to-wall windows to allow in the most natural light. The windows also allow residents to experience the changes of natural light throughout the day, to support natural circadian rhythms – which is often a challenge for dementia patients.
Plants in the Founder’s Garden are arranged according to the seasons so the residents can easily visualize the four seasons. Plants for the summer – herbs for cooking or tea, soft plants for touching and aromatic flowers with the scent of summer – encourage more interaction and help residents maintain a sense of connection by working with their hands.
The Borer Memory Life Community also has an outdoor garden that’s being set up for the upcoming summer. Gardening outdoors is one of the residents’ favorite activities of the season. The outdoor garden was critical as Loretto designed this new memory care facility, and the team fully understands the importance of maximizing outdoor activities to take advantage of the benefits of being in the sun to the residents.
For people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, sunlight can:
- Reduce cognitive decline on a mental status exam by a relative 5%
- Cut depression symptoms by a relative 19%
- Slow increases in functional limitations by slightly more than half (53%)
- Trigger chemicals in the brain that improve moods
- Boost vitamin D levels and the immune system
- Relieve pain
- Promote relaxation
- Improve sleep quality
- Help to reset a person’s body clock
Since opening The Heritage in 1992 as the region’s first and only residential program focused on caring for those with dementia, Loretto has always been a pioneer in memory care. The Borer Memory Life Community and its programs exist thanks to support from the Loretto Foundation. Anyone can learn more and make a donation to the Loretto Foundation by visiting LorettoCNY.org.
Loretto is a leader in comprehensive healthcare services in Central New York. As the fourth largest healthcare provider and the sixth largest employer in the region, the 2,500 exceptional people at Loretto’s 19 locations deliver extraordinary care to close to 10,000 people of all ages, income levels, and care needs in Onondaga and Cayuga counties each year. From adult day programs and short-term rehabilitation, to the home-like settings in its assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities, Loretto is actively investing in its employees, in medical research, and in new technologies to improve care in our community, Making Every Day Extraordinary. Loretto: Exceptional people. Extraordinary care. For more information on Loretto, please visit lorettocny.org.
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