To Jen Downing, Jackson Creek’s new Memory Care Director, a good memory care program has three elements: connection, creativity, and continuity, or, more specifically, “building relationships with residents, being creative with daily challenges, and creating structure in our daily routines.”
Today, as head of our Memory Care Neighborhood, Jen leads a team of 20 team members who care for up to 30 residents, making sure they stay up to date on their online training modules.
“In memory care, you have to be able to think on your feet because it’s important to meet residents where they are,” said Jen. “That’s why we utilize several resources for both families and team members to continue to learn how our residents’ minds work and how we can best help them.”
Each day, Jen works with families to adjust and customize each resident’s care plan. She also has a formal meeting with each family every quarter to review the current plan.
“We support the residents in their day-to-day lives,” said Jen, “and we also want our families to feel supported and understood. We know that many of them were personal caregivers for their loved ones prior to coming to Jackson Creek, so it is important that they are able to live their lives without the stress of wondering if their family member is being cared for.”
Jen comes from a family of teachers and while she chose a different path, she is passionate about educating and training our memory care team. She started her healthcare career as a Certified Nursing Assistant at a memory care community more than 10 years ago and has since worked in several positions including as director of operations for a home healthcare company.
Prior to coming to Jackson Creek, she was a memory care director at another senior living community in Colorado Springs. Most recently, she joined the Jackson Creek team as our assisted living care director and served in that role for the past two years.
Now, as Jen settles into her new role in memory care, she is excited to bring about some changes within the department, including creating spaces with specific themes so the “residents have designated places where they can go and interact with things that they’re familiar with or have an interest in. These spaces will also promote movement and exercise so residents can stay mobile and active throughout their day.”
Jen has an open-door policy for families and team members alike and encourages all feedback. In the months ahead, she is looking forward to getting to know the memory care family on a personal level.
At Jackson Creek, we strive to provide a safe, comfortable living experience where residents with memory loss can grow and thrive. To learn more, give us a call at 719-259-1331 or schedule a personal tour.