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The Reserve at East Longmeadow was open and spacious, and the residents seemed to be more mobile and not confined to wheelchairs, which I liked. The staff was wonderful and exceptional. I looked at a very spacious 1-bedroom and the bathroom was designed for handicapped people. The rooms seemed to be a little larger than other facilities, the hallways were wider, and I liked that they had elevators.
My sisters and I moved our Mother into the Assisted Living Section of Brookdale (formerly Emeritus) in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts prior to her being diagnosed with dementia. Within five months, the Director of the facility informed us that our Mother had wandered outside unescorted and would need to be moved to the Memory Care Unit immediately. With no guidance and little communication from the staff at Brookdale, we hesitantly moved our Mother into this new area. That’s when our real nightmares at Brookdale began. While the Assisted Living Section of this facility may be adequate for seniors who need little to no assistance, the Memory Care Unit is extremely poorly staffed for people with dementia. During the first of two meetings with Brookdale’s Director and Senior Nurse, we were ASSURED that unless our Mother needed hospitalization, she would be able to live out the rest of her life at Brookdale. They emphasized that they were well versed in the late stages of dementia and would absolutely be able to care for her there. We were told that there was medical staff available which we assumed would mean that should our Mother have any medical issues, they would be able to take care of them. We soon found out that those were completely false statements. The care that our Mother received there was of the poorest quality. We constantly received phone calls from the nursing staff suggesting that our Mother’s confusion was due to a urinary tract infection, which was not true as we had taken her to an urologist and were told she didn’t have one. Our Mother’s bed was rarely changed; her laundry was thrown into her room, along with clothes that belonged to other residents; she was often left in bed all day long with very little supervision; and it became a common occurrence to visit her and find her crying and confused over very small things that the staff could easily have taken care of. Our impression of the senior staff there was that they cared more about meeting dollar quotas than taking care of their residents. While the Memory Care Unit at this facility may be an adequate place for seniors with mild or initial stage dementia, I would not recommend it for mid- to end-stage dementia.
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