As a distinct specialty, the concept of memory care is relatively new. For decades, the impact of age-related dementia was addressed within the context of “elder care,” which glossed over the nuances of the countless mental and physical declines associated with aging. The designation also overlooked the fact that memory decline is sometimes diagnosed in people to whom the label “elder” simply doesn’t apply, with some patients first learning their diagnosis as early as their forties and fifties.
Over time, a greater understanding of dementia – and the unique needs of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of progressive memory loss – has made it clear that at its best, memory care is highly specialized. At The Mooring, our unique approach to residential dementia care, curated through firsthand exposure to dedicated industry professionals in other outstanding memory care settings, sets us apart.
The Mooring is, in effect, the culmination of a career’s-worth of on-the-job observations by founder Lynn Peel. Over the course of her nearly two decades of experience in and around residential care settings, Lynn developed a keen sense of best practices to maintain an ever-evolving wish list that formed her vision of the ideal memory care facility.
As her career progressed from direct caregiving and administration to residential care consulting, Lynn spent more and more time with families of dementia sufferers, guiding them in their pursuit of ideal residential living options. Lynn’s familiarity with residential facilities throughout northern New England allowed her to match families with facilities and professionals she knew and trusted. And while Lynn was always confident in the quality of her recommendations, she remained aware that the facility she envisioned did not yet exist. Armed with experience and knowledge, Lynn decided to bring her vision to reality – and The Mooring took shape.
Over the course of The Mooring’s development, Lynn and her team handpicked the project’s vital resources. To bolster their experience, they turned to:
- The design and architectural services of Gawron Turgeon, an award winning firm with a demonstrated track record in innovative, human-scale residential care design;
- Therapy and programming consultation from a select group of trusted memory care professionals, each contributing his or her best practices to produce the protocols that now guide each housemate’s individualized therapy regimen;
- Insights from successful field care models, including Eden Alternatives and the Greenhouse Model, to align The Mooring’s infrastructure, aesthetic, flow and resident care philosophy into a cohesive program;
- Staffing experts, who helped to translate The Mooring’s team philosophy into defined care partner and administrative roles that reflected both our high staff-to-patient ratio and our goal of long-term employee retention.
In May of 2017, The Mooring on Foreside welcomed its first housemates. Scaled for intimacy, the facility was designed with twelve individual rooms, and a limit of no more than twelve housemates at any given time. From the very first day of operation, it was clear that The Mooring is different – a place where both housemates and their families felt welcome, comfortable and at home. Since then, our initial vision has taken shape, and the model for The Mooring has exceeded both our expectations, and those of the families we serve.