The Woodlands, Texas – Avanti Senior Living is pleased to announce Angela Copeland as the new national director of Salize Memory Care. Copeland started with Avanti Senior Living three years ago. She most recently served in the role of operations strategist for Avanti Senior Living, and prior to that she served as the executive director of Avanti Senior Living at Vision Park. Lori Alford, COO of Avanti Senior Living, made the announcement. Salize is an extension of Avanti’s senior living communities that empowers residents living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia to live life to its fullest. The name Salize is derived from the word “salice,” meaning “willow” in Italian. Willow trees, much like memory care residents, adapt and even thrive in the face of difficult life stresses. Just as the willow tree bends under strong winds but bounces back and continues to flourish, residents living with dementia will prosper despite the challenges created by memory loss.
“I was immediately drawn to Avanti’s resident-focused approach, stimulating design, exemplar programming and the exemplary service provided to residents living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia,” said Copeland. “Salize has a resident-focused approach with an environment that is conducive to serenity at every level. For example, one of our residents is a retired lawyer. When he moved into one of our Houston communities, we learned of his background and set up a personal office for him equipped with many of the items found in his old office – a telephone, folders, a computer and more. He has responded very well to the setup, and we often see him in there taking calls, reading the paper, having a cup of coffee and ‘working.’ As a result, he experiences less stress and anxiety because he can complete his ‘daily routine’ in a place of comfort. This has really enhanced his quality of life, and his family noticed the remarkable behavioral change. Another resident is really flexible and enjoys advanced yoga. However, many of the other residents are beginners at yoga. Instead of having her join the beginner-level classes, the wellness team designed a one-on-one class for this resident. We took pictures of her during her private session and sent them to her family so they could see her thriving in our community.”
While some residents enjoy doing tasks related to their career or exercising, others enjoy simple hobbies such as putting together puzzles. The Salize team discovered that one particular resident finds personal satisfaction when working independently to piece together her own puzzles. As a result, the team set up a table in the main room for her to sit and complete puzzles while listening to other residents talk nearby. The table faces the window, and she experiences serenity and calmness as she works with a view of the courtyard. This is another example of how Avanti offers a refreshing concept which focuses on the continuation of each individual’s lifestyle, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all schedule all residents must follow. Residents have the power to make their own decisions and continue living the lifestyle they deserve.
“Our goal is to discover our residents’ interests and cater to them either in the form of group activities or individualized workstations or classes,” said Copeland. “Avanti’s desire to deliver resident-focused programming is raising the bar across the industry. We give residents a way to express themselves in a safe environment designed specifically for them, and we see improvements in their mood and overall well-being.”
“I have watched Angela lead by example and infuse her personal dedication to seniors in all she does each and every day in our Salize communities,” said Alford. “She is compassionate and dedicates her energy to creating the Avanti experience for residents who need memory care. She has been a part of our leadership team since the beginning, and this was the next natural step for her. As an asset to Avanti since the opening of one of our first communities, Angela understands our unique approach and will successfully guide the Salize team in her new role.”
Copeland will be responsible for hiring and selecting Salize directors and helping them set up and run their communities. Avanti partnered with Hearthstone Institute, and Copeland will coordinate training with the organization for all team members to ensure they deliver exemplary memory care programming. The goal is to engage those living with memory impairment by focusing on the mind’s strengths and establishing a connection with their abilities which don’t diminish with time.
“My goal in this role is to ensure that our Salize directors and team members are open minded, passionate and innovative, as they will have to approach resident needs in creative ways,” said Copeland. “We do not expect residents to follow a master schedule. We make a point to learn their schedule, preferences and lifestyle so that we can cater to them. For example, some residents like to sleep in, and some like to get up at dawn. If a resident prefers a small breakfast of toast and coffee in the comfort of her suite, we do not make her come to the dining room and serve her a huge breakfast. Likewise, residents have the option to participate in activities or special events if they want to.”
Salize is designed to engage residents’ senses and create a calming environment that assists them with daily living tasks. Sensory technology is a considerable component of the design. The community plays sounds associated with morning, day and night throughout to help residents adjust to the time of day. Sensory boards built into handrails in the hallways help residents navigate throughout Salize and provide sensory stimulation. Salize includes open spaces, short hallways, no blind corners and special lighting to reduce apprehension, confusion and overstimulation. A large enclosed courtyard with walking paths and benches is available for socialization or moments of quiet as well
About Avanti Senior Living
Avanti Senior Living owns, develops and operates senior living communities. Avanti was launched in 2013 and is committed to redefining senior housing through forward-thinking design, inspiring and innovative culture and state-of-the-art technology. The company is based in The Woodlands, Texas. CEO Tim Hekker and COO Lori Alford founded the company with their combined 50-plus years of experience. Avanti’s vision focuses on creating a culture that emphasizes personal choice and control to preserve resident dignity, while delivering world-class care and support and inspirational experiences.
Avanti senior living communities are open in and being built in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona. The company will move into other markets nationwide. Each community has 90-150 one and two- bedroom suites. Their vision is to fundamentally redefine the customer service experience for assisted living and memory care by providing a quality of life that embraces a holistic lifestyle filled with choice. Each Avanti community features resort-style activities and entertainment options boasting a stylish design, beautiful themed courtyards, a true art studio, an exercise room with a barre and a full-service salon and spa, a nail bar and hair services and multiple destination locations.
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