Independent living residents are moving into communities for a variety of reasons, but one reason is because one or both of them is/are experiencing mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's Disease.

I hope to see more communities implement even a few hours of adult day programming so that the couple can live independently together in the evening, but the caregiver can have a few hours of relief everyday while his or her spouse goes to an adult day program or at least participates in activities that are geared for someone with mild cognitive impairment or early stage dementia. I think retirement communities will be able to attract younger couples facing this challenge and they will keep people independent longer (and avoid caregiver burnout) if they can succeed in providing social adult day activities for someone with at least mild forms of dementia.

With difficulties in filling open apartments or assisted living wings, this specialized focus on caregivers and a person with dementia could meet a genuine need -- and address the elephant in the room head on with compassion and with the real support people are wanting.

LifeBio's memory care curriculum, MemoryBio, and our Life Story Journal are both excellent tools to use in a social adult day program. Also, our Storyboards and Story Cards could also be great ways to work the brain and help someone with memory loss to quickly capture life stories and memories.