Parallel programming enriches the Memory Care experience



Memory Care residents at New Pond Village are offered parallel programming in the recently opened Mind & Memory neighborhood.

Parallel programming provides an opportunity for a resident to choose between two engaging activities underway at the same time. While one resident may prefer to take part in Bible verse reading in the cafeteria after breakfast, another may opt to enjoy a stroll in the garden where there are edible flowers.

This individualized care approach at New Pond Village allows each resident to engage in an activity of their choosing. Rather than offering a single scheduled activity for every resident, the parallel programming creates simultaneous, individual opportunities for each person to partake in whatever they most enjoy, or what suits their current mood – always with the appropriate support and companionship from caregivers.

Research demonstrates that when someone is engaged in something they love with their attention focused on positive engagement, the anxiety, depressed thoughts and irritations one might usually dwell on are alleviated.

Tasha Thomas, resident care director at New Pond Village, says providing parallel programming works well at the Walpole-based senior living community.

“We may have a small program using the Resident Care Aides to help facilitate,” she says. “It provides alternatives. One resident may be in a sensory activity and the other may be at the Bible verse reading. We meet them where they are. We put a huge emphasis on the aides being engaged in the programming.”

Caregivers and family members can also take part in the parallel programming.

Tasha says a husband of a wife who lives in Independent Living comes in a few times a day and always at meal times. “He pulls up a chair and joins right in,” she says.

“We have a lot of flexibility. New Pond Village is innovative and pushing the envelope. We provide the quality of care that allows us to take on a different clientele,” she says in regard to being a Lifecare community.

New Pond Village is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and because of this, the husband in Independent Living gets the relief of knowing his wife is getting good care in Memory Care. “There is a cushion for that spouse,” says Tasha. “The draw to a CCRC is that it is literally one move.

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