One of the only — if not the only — long-term care facilities in the state to open during the coronavirus pandemic, Marquis Hope Village Memory Care in Canby celebrated its one-year anniversary this August.
The 13,000-square-foot, 24-bed facility was actually in the works years before Covid-19, but the pandemic hit just as administrators were seeking licensing approval to open.
It has been an interesting journey, to say the least.
“We were slated to open in April 2020,” memory care administrator Melissa Laurandeau said with a laugh. “So, obviously, we saw some hiccups with that. But it turned out to be kind of a blessing in disguise.”
The newly completed facility became temporary lodging for employees during the early months of the pandemic, allowing support staff from outside the area to stay nearby between shifts or allowing local workers an option if they were concerned about exposing their families.
“Having this building here where there were so many unknowns, so many moving parts, it was kind of a unique opportunity that we had,” Laurandeau explained.
The purpose of the was to give Marquis Companies a fuller and more well-rounded continuum of care on their Hope Village campus.
“We’re start to finish,” Laurandeau said. “We have everything on campus: from rehab and long-term care, to skilled nursing, assisted living and, now, memory care.”
The important thing to know is, just as dementia looks a little different for each individual and family who experiences, so, too, does the care at Marquis Hope Village.
“It’s very tailored to what their needs are,” Laurandeau explained. “Prior to somebody moving in, we spend a lot of time with their families. We get to know who they used to be, what’s happened since their diagnosis, what kind of journey they’ve had, things that the family has experienced — the good and the bad.”
The care plans are tailored to each resident’s interests and current ability level.
“Our goal here is really to create an experience for our residents that is as normal as possible,” Laurandeau said. “And ‘normal’ is whatever that word means to them. Wherever they’re at, whatever they’re good at right now, whatever’s important to them — that’s what we focus on.”
Dementia can be treated but has no known cure. The goal of memory care, then, is to help give residents hope and purpose.
“And that’s really what everybody’s baseline is, right? You need a purpose,” said Laurandeau. “Finding something that means something to them. And if they can no longer do things they used to find meaningful, can we adapt them in a way that they can be fulfilled by doing those things?
Marquis’ care team is critical to this mission. Fortunately, they are up to the task.
“The staff that I have here are incredible,” Laurandeau said. “They’re a whole other level of caregiver — because this is a very vulnerable population.
“This is a group of folks that can’t necessarily make their needs known, so being able to be proactive instead of reactive, knowing their life so well that you know what they need even when they can’t articulate it — it’s a whole other level of care, for sure.”
It’s a challenging line of work, to be sure, but that can also make it all the more rewarding.
“There are so many moments that just kind of make your day,” Laurandeau said. “Even on those days when it gets really hard in this office, it’s amazing to me how much stress relief I can get by going back and spending time with my residents, just sitting with them, doing an activity and chatting with them.”
The other especially fulfilling part of the job is helping family members understand, navigate and find joy in the “new normal” of their loved one experiencing dementia.
“You know, it’s very normal for a lot of families to struggle to understand their loved ones,” she said. “So we spend a lot of time educating, explaining: ‘This is who your love one is now,’ and ‘These are things you can do to foster a relationship with them.’ It can be pretty incredible, coaching families through that.”
Marquis Hope Village boasts a total of 24 beds, secure outdoor courtyards and gardens, robust activity programming and individualized 24-hour memory care.
Marquis Hope Village Memory Care is located at 1589 South Ivy Street in Canby. It is now open for tours and admissions.
For more information, call 503-266-0400 or visit www.marquiscompanies.com.
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