Vintage photographs and letters inside an old wooden keepsake box for an elderly loved one living with dementia surrounded by old open letters

People living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia may remember their far-off past but might not be able to remember an event that happened yesterday. That’s why building a memory box can be a great way to connect with your loved one as they recall different people and events from their past.

By providing concrete, tangible items that start conversations and spark memories, memory boxes can help family members, friends and care providers to engage individuals living with memory loss in a healthy, meaningful way. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind before creating your own memory box:

Choose the right container

Find a suitable container to serve as your memory box. It should be sturdy and easy to store and lift. Your container can be as simple as a shoebox or Tupperware container, or more ornate like a basket or a chest. You can also decorate the box with drawings, small glued-on items, or photos to make it even more unique.

Find meaningful objects

Find objects to put in your memory box that have a specific memory attached to them. These can be objects that reflect your loved one’s interests and hobbies, or just ones with personal significance. Some ideas would be family photos, a favorite book, sports memorabilia, CDs or tapes, artwork from grandchildren, vacation souvenirs, a favorite recipe, old newspaper clippings, or a favorite piece of jewelry or clothing.

Pick stimulating and safe items

Senses like touch and smell can help spur memory just as much, or even more so, than sight, so consider choosing items with different textures and fragrances. If you include a CD, be sure to play it with your loved one. And be sure to choose memory-related items that are not sharp, dangerous, or heavy to handle.

Consider including notes and clues

The significance of certain items might not come to your loved one right away. Try labeling items with cues and include a notecard or list in the box detailing all the items with a short description or context clues to suggest why they are meaningful.

Memory boxes are a simple tool for spurring connection and engagement, but the most important part of making a memory box is what happens after you hand it over to a loved one. Both you and your loved one will cherish the process of going through the box, talking about each item, recalling memories, and enjoying the conversations that arise.

At Jackson Creek Senior Living we’re committed to supporting seniors in our community to live well and age well. Call us at 719-259-1331 to learn more about our independent and assisted living and memory support services for those 62+.

Jackson Creek Senior Living to Donate and Take Part in the Festival of Trees

MONUMENTJackson Creek Senior Living announced it will donate and take part in the fifth annual Festival of Trees, taking place at the Meridian Ranch Recreation Center on Nov. 19-26. The annual holiday event benefits local charities and non-profits through the silent auction of donated decorated Christmas trees.

The theme for Jackson Creek’s donated tree is “Gnome for the Holidays.” Residents and team members will create yarn gnomes and other ornaments to decorate the artificial tree and all proceeds raised from Jackson Creek’s tree will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The public is invited to visit the Meridian Ranch Recreation Center, located at 10301 Angeles Road in Peyton, during normal recreation center hours to see all the donated trees on display and take part in the silent auction. Admission is free.

About Jackson Creek Senior Living
Located at 16601 Jackson Creek Parkway, Jackson Creek Senior Living is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory support services. The community is managed by WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

5 Tips to Help Caregivers Cope

The Cleveland Clinic defines caregiver burnout as a state of “physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion,” which can negatively impact your ability to continue caring for your loved one. When caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, it’s essential to learn how to cope with daily challenges, protect your own health and avoid burnout.

Here are five tips from the Alzheimer’s Association to help you manage the demands of caregiving and avoid burnout.

1. Prioritize Your Health

Caregivers often get caught up in monitoring the health of their loved ones, and they neglect their own health. If you get too sick and rundown to care for your spouse or family member, their health could also suffer. See your doctor annually and be attentive to your health. If you have a cough or aches and pains that linger, be sure to tell your physician. Don’t ignore a persistent headache or chronic sleeplessness. Report any unusual symptoms to your doctor and prioritize your health and well-being.

2. Eat Well and Exercise

Making sure your diet is healthy and balanced like you do for your loved one will help you maintain your energy levels and overall strength. Take time for regular physical exercise, and don’t skip meals or resort to the drive-thru. Instead, plan to eat the same healthy meals you serve your loved one and find small breaks in the day when a loved one is napping to get in a few minutes of yoga or stream a workout class. There are also ways you can be active with the person with dementia like going for a walk together, doing seated exercises at home, or dancing in the living room.

3. Manage Stress

You cannot avoid stress entirely, but you don’t have to let it overwhelm you. One of the best stress relievers is to give yourself a break. You are doing the best you can and deserve time for yourself! Constant stress leads to poor mental and physical health and can cause your loved one to feel stressed, too. For both your sakes’ find ways to relax and unwind every day.

4. Accept Things for What They Are

Alzheimer’s and dementia are progressive, and you cannot change or control that. All you can do is your best and not feel guilty that you should be doing more. Your loved one’s needs are going to change, and a day may come when you can no longer care for them at home. Accepting this and planning for when that time comes will give you peace of mind about their future. A memory support community like Jackson Creek Senior Living provides families guidance and information to begin their memory support search and holds events to share resources so caregivers realize they are not alone and it’s okay to ask for help and support.

5. Ask for Help

No matter how hard you try, you cannot do everything by yourself. You will need help sometimes. Family members, neighbors, church members, or in-home care providers are people you can, and should, reach out to for help now and then. Another good option to explore is short-term respite care. At Jackson Creek, we provide a quality respite care solution for caregivers’ temporary needs. Whether you need a few days off for a family vacation, a work trip or just to recharge, our furnished apartments offer a safe, comfortable environment with 24/7 care staff, life-enrichment activities, and all the comforts of home.

Respite care is also an excellent way to prepare yourself and your loved one for the time when their needs may be better served in a memory support community. Becoming aware of local resources and exploring options ahead of time, can help make the transition easier for you and your loved one.

At Jackson Creek Senior Living, we help families find the best living situation to meet their loved one’s needs. Call 719-259-1331 or visit jacksoncreekseniorliving.com if you have questions about our memory support program or short-term respite care services.

Jackson Creek Senior Living Names Keli Childs Executive Director

MONUMENTJackson Creek Senior Living announces that Keli Childs has been named Executive Director. In this role, she will oversee Jackson Creek’s day-to-day operations, ensure quality resident care and well-being, and provide comprehensive leadership in staff development and engagement, goal setting, and long-term revenue growth.

“We are thrilled to have Keli join the team,” said Elizabeth Girling, Vice President of Operations for WellAge Senior Living. “Her outstanding attention to detail, commitment to resident and family satisfaction, and open communication style align perfectly with our organization’s mission and values.”

Childs is a Monument local who has worked in senior living since 2011. Her experience includes sales, acquisitions, executive management, and national operations. She holds a bachelor’s in theater arts with a minor in business and is a certified Administrator in Assisted Living.

About Jackson Creek Senior Living
Located at 16601 Jackson Creek Parkway, Jackson Creek Senior Living was designed to meet the growing need for senior housing and health care in northern El Paso County. It offers independent living, assisted living and memory support residences, with a focus on senior wellness and life enrichment. The community is managed by WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

Every November, our nation honors the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Jackson Creek Senior Living is fortunate to have several retired veterans and their spouses living in our community. One of those residents is retired Col. Dr. Edmund “Ed” A. Krekorian, a veteran of three wars, an internationally respected head and neck surgeon, and the author of four novels based on his experiences in the military.

Like many young adults, the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor motivated Dr. Krekorian to enlist in the military and fight for his country. In 1943, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and soon found himself in the Pacific islands fighting alongside fellow soldiers until atomic weapons ended the battle with Japan and hastened the end of World War II. Dr. Krekorian returned to the United States where he would be honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, attend Emory University, accept a direct commission as a second lieutenant in the Army, and marry his late wife of nearly 72 years, Patricia.

As a lieutenant in the Third Infantry Division commanding a platoon of self-propelled automatic weapons, Dr. Krekorian’s rescue of sixteen severely wounded British soldiers (Glosters) about to be taken prisoner by Chinese Communist Forces set him on the path to a medical career. 

Graduating from the Medical College of Georgia with honors in 1957, Dr. Krekorian eventually was assigned as Director, Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and appointed to the National Academy of Science. He became internationally known for his expertise in management of trauma of the head and neck and management of advanced malignancies of the head and neck.

First wedding anniversary photo of Col. Dr. Edmund “Ed” A. Krekorian and his late wife of almost 72 years, Patricia Krekorian, at the Henry Grady Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, June 30, 1951

In 1970 Dr. Krekorian was eligible to retire. Two prestigious university medical centers were recruiting him to replace their then-current chairman. Instead, he chose to go through parachute training and then to Vietnam. He served as Division Surgeon, (chief surgeon) Americal Division. After promotion to full colonel, he commanded the 400-bed 93rd Evacuation Hospital at Long Binh. During his Vietnam tour, he also served as U.S. Army Head and Neck consultant. 

Retiring from active military service after 27 years Dr. Krekorian joined the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Medicine as a professor in 1978. He was appointed Director, Head & Neck Surgery, at Denver Health & Hospitals. He was also on the staff of University Hospital and volunteer staff of the following: Denver Veterans Administration Hospital, and Children’s Hospital. 

After retiring as a professor emeritus, Dr. Krekorian went on to author several novels: From Bayonet to Scalpel: A Marine’s Odyssey (1996), Vietnam: A Surgeon’s Odyssey (2003), Operation Geriatric Geese (2016), and Operation Turtle Rock (2022).

In 2018, the Krekorians moved to Jackson Creek, a veteran-proud senior living community that is located near several military bases, including Schriever Air Force Base, the United States Air Force Academy, Fort Carson, and Peterson Air Force Base.

In full retirement, Dr. Krekorian became active in the Colorado Mountain Club and the local chapter of Kiwanis International. During many Christmas seasons, he could be found ringing the handbell at Walmart or King Soopers for the Salvation Army. 

This Veterans Day, Dr. Krekorian will deliver a presentation about the Korean War, the Boy Scouts will host a flag ceremony and the Oasis Band will perform a patriotic evening program at Jackson Creek.

At Jackson Creek Senior Living, we encourage veterans and their surviving spouses to apply for the Veterans Administration’s Aid and Attendance Benefits,* which can significantly offset the cost of monthly rent for our assisted living and memory support services. Call  719-259-1331 or visit jacksoncreekseniorliving.com to learn more and schedule a personalized tour.

*Please note that Jackson Creek cannot determine eligibility for Veterans’ Benefits; only the Veterans Administration can determine an applicant’s eligibility.

MONUMENTJackson Creek Senior Living announced it will partner with Tri-Lakes Cares to host a community food drive benefiting individuals and families in El Paso County from November 1-15.

For a list of currently needed items, visit https://tri-lakescares.org/donate/current-needs/.

The public is invited to bring donations of non-perishable food items to Jackson Creek Senior Living, located at 16601 Jackson Creek Parkway. Donations will be accepted daily between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. at a designated drop-off in the front lobby, which is located at the retirement community’s main entrance.

“We’re grateful to team up with Tri-Lakes Cares food pantry this Thanksgiving to help collect donations for those in our community struggling with food insecurity,” said Jackson Creek Senior Living Director of Sales & Marketing Laura Hale. “Thank you to all our residents, families and team members, as well as local community members, who plan to give this year.”

About Jackson Creek Senior Living
Located at 16601 Jackson Creek Parkway, Jackson Creek Senior Living is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory support services. The community is managed by WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

Adult son comforting his father with Alzheimer’s in his senior living community apartment

When looking for a memory support community that meets the needs of your loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other memory loss, the best possible place for them to be is in a community where they will have the proper support and care necessary to maintain a high quality of life even as their cognitive issues progress.

Research has shown that residents in memory support communities experience a multitude of benefits. They generally take less medication, have a reduced risk of falls and injuries, have improved wellness and nutrition, enjoy more independence and socialization, and visit the hospital less often.

Here are five important factors to consider when searching for the right memory support community and program for your loved one:

1. Staffing

It’s important to ask yourself whether the team in the community you’re evaluating appears to be knowledgeable and caring. Find out their level of training and experience and whether any team members are certified dementia care managers. Another important factor to consider is the staff-to-resident ratio, both during the day and at night. At communities like Jackson Creek Senior Living, team members are trained in compassionate, person-centered care and on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

2. Safety

Six out of 10 people living with Alzheimer’s have the tendency to wander, so it’s a good idea to find out if the memory support community you’re considering has safeguards and electronic safety features against residents leaving the premises. Some communities are equipped with a wander alert system, while others implement access-controlled, video-monitored entry or emergency call systems and pendants in resident apartments.

3. Services

Think about what level of care your loved one needs, from basic services like meal prep and laundry to specialized medical care and assistance with activities of daily living. Find out a community’s standard procedures for medical emergencies, especially if your loved one has underlying conditions. You may also want to ask what kinds of therapies the community offers, such as pet, music, reminiscence, light, art, or another type of specialized therapy.

4. Levels of Care

Other important information to gather is whether the community’s Health and Wellness Director and memory support team develop an individual care plan for residents upon moving in, and how residents are engaged by team members with verbal queues and prompting. If necessary, ask whether the community can care for residents who exhibit disruptive behavior. If your loved one is not quite ready for memory support, you can also ask whether they have an assisted living to Alzheimer’s support bridge program for early-stage residents.

5. Amenities

Finally, determine what the living arrangements are in the community you are considering: are there memory support neighborhoods? Are the apartments arranged around shared common areas like a homelike living room or dedicated activities space? At Jackson Creek, we offer a memory support dining program and two outdoor courtyards to encourage movement and fresh air. Other services include wellness and life enrichment programs, chef-prepared meals, housekeeping and laundry services, and scheduled transportation.

Before deciding, determine your loved one’s personal needs and then evaluate the memory support program and community as much as possible: schedule a tour, read online reviews, talk to residents, families, and team members, and most importantly, ask questions!

At Jackson Creek Senior Living, we help families find the best living situation to meet their loved one’s needs. Call  719-259-1331 or visit jacksoncreekseniorliving.com if you have questions about memory support or would like to schedule a personalized tour.

MONUMENT – Jackson Creek Senior Living will host Kelli Holt and Tonya Dorman, local Medicare brokers from Think 65, to present “Don’t be a Victim of Medicare Scams” on Friday, Oct. 14 at 10:30 a.m. in the Columbine Room.

This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested. Visit https://jacksoncreekseniorliving.com/events/ to RSVP.

Based in Colorado Springs, Think 65 helps seniors and families understand the Medicare system and offers enrollment guidance. This educational program will focus on how to safeguard yourself or a loved one against Medicare scams and identify the common warning signs of Medicare fraud.

Jackson Creek is located at 16601 Jackson Creek Parkway. Refreshments will be served during the presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

About Jackson Creek Senior Living
Located at 16601 Jackson Creek Parkway, Jackson Creek Senior Living is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory support services. The community is managed by WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

MONUMENT Jackson Creek Senior Living today announced it will host a Fall Festival on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in partnership with Journey Care Coordinating and Mountain Music Therapy Services.

Members of the public are invited to visit the Jackson Creek campus, located at 16601 Jackson Creek Parkway in Monument, to celebrate autumn’s arrival while enjoying apple-themed treats, live entertainment and guided community tours.

Sponsored by Assisted Living Locators of Colorado Springs, this event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested.

Call 719-259-1331 or RSVP through our events page to attend.


About Jackson Creek Senior Living
Located at 16601 Jackson Creek Parkway, Jackson Creek Senior Living is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory support services. The community is managed by WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

MONUMENT – Jackson Creek Senior Living today announced it will participate in Colorado Springs’ annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 10 a.m. This year’s event will be held at Memorial Park at Prospect Lake, 280 S. Union Blvd., and funds raised will support research efforts to discover methods of treatment and prevention for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

For more information about joining Jackson Creek’s team of walkers or to donate, please visit: act.alz.org.

Join Our Team »

Donate to Jackson Creek’s Team »


About Jackson Creek Senior Living
Located at 16601 Jackson Creek Parkway, Jackson Creek Senior Living is a Colorado-based retirement community offering independent living, assisted living and memory support services. The community is managed by WellAge Senior Living, a respected senior care management company.

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