The Ivey focuses on health and wellness

Programs aimed at improving quality of life for patrons

by Abbie Bennett

The Ivey Memory Care Day Center, also known as The Ivey, is an adult day-care facility in Charlotte dedicated to improving health and wellness. But day care only scratches the surface of all they do there.

Lynn Ivey, founder and CEO of The Ivey, said the facility offers an array of services, such as “socialization and mind-body stimulation that keep the body and mind flexible and active,” she said. “Our members have fun, make friends and participate in meaningful group activities.”

The Ivey features exercise services including chair aerobics, chair dancing, yoga and Tai Chi; recreation activities like putt-putt golf, bean-bag toss and balloon volleyball; spiritual activities such as meal-time blessings, hymn singing and daily devotionals (all non denominational); and even psychosocial services including brain challenges, neurolympics, reminiscence therapy and tea socials. The options are numerous.

The arts also are part of daily life at The Ivey, with sing-a-longs with visiting musicians, rhythm band, bell choir and dancing as well as water color painting, quilting and theater skits and plays.

Ivey adds that medical supervision is a priority for The Ivey.

“This team is led by a full-time, on-site registered nurse with two additional registered nurses and two certified nurses aids,” she said. “Members’ health concerns are monitored throughout the day.”

Health concerns being monitored daily include blood pressure, medication management and administration, insulin injections, individual case management, occupational, physical and speech therapy arranged as needed and weight monitoring.

For Ivey, the personal care offered at the center is key.

“Our personal care services are very popular,” she said. “They help our members feel and look their best, while making it easier on caregivers by providing all these services in one place.”

Services provided through personal care include full-body baths in a bath spa, grooming care including hair and manicures and podiatry services provided by wound care nurses specializing in foot care for the elderly.

According to Ivey, all food is freshly prepared onsite by a Johnson & Wales-trained chef.

“Our outstanding cuisine service is customized to accommodate each person’s dietary needs, including full, made-to-order breakfast, chef-inspired lunch and mid-afternoon snack and beverages throughout the day,” she said.

Ivey said the center’s goal for health and wellness is to help its members remain as comfortably independent, living at home with loved ones, for as long as possible.

“Our comprehensive holistic approach also frees family caregivers to resume normal day-to-day activities,” she said.

Ivey said that health and wellness is integral to the center’s mission.

“It is the most important aspect of why we exist,” she said. “As people age, chronic health conditions such as Alzheimer’s and other dementias rob them of a fulfilling and purposeful life. The Ivey wants to bring fulfillment, purpose and moments of joy to each individual who attends. In addition, if family caregivers do not take meaningful breaks from caregiving activities, their lives can be destroyed first. To take care of themselves, family caregivers need the peace of mind to know that their loved one is living a safe, satisfying and meaningful day.”

Ivey said that patrons can expect a lot of The Ivey in the area of health and wellness.

“Our unique physical environment is very non-clinical, spotlessly clean and is beautifully and comfortably appointed,” she said. “The expert staff is well-trained with the most up-to-date knowledge of dealing with dementia and its relation to other chronic conditions and most importantly, carefully selected for their love and compassion for older adults.”

Ivey said the center is focused on outreach programs to benefit the health and wellness of the community as a whole.

“We offer regular, free education programs to the public,” she said. “Topics include key information about dementia and how it progresses, guidance on interacting with loved ones with dementia, resources available to caregivers, long-term care options, caring for the caregiver and support.”

Education programs sponsored by The Ivey include monthly seminars onsite at the center and a periodic workshop series offsite at church communities, medical practices and employer worksites.

Support and advocacy also is an important part of the Ivey’s community outreach.

“We have semi-monthly support groups onsite for family caregivers of loved ones with early stage or younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease and for family caregivers of loved ones with older-onset Alzheimer’s disease.”

Ivey said the center has something to benefit all patrons looking for improved health and wellness.

“Our members are living with Alzheimer’s and other types of memory loss, such as stroke-related dementia, Parkinson’s, overall frailty or social isolation,” she said. “Our services enrich their lives and provide support to their family caregivers.”

For Ivey, health and wellness is vital to the center’s purpose.

“By incorporating an integrating health and wellness approach with its unique physical environment and expert, loving staff, the Ivey’s offering is unique to the region.”

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