We took the time to speak with the Executive Director of Successful Living Center Veronica McKenzie. Here is what she had to share.
TELL US ABOUT SUCCESSFUL LIVING CENTER
Successful Living Center, a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Montgomery, was founded in 2006. The inspiration for the name of the facility came out of the belief that all individuals have the potential to be successful regardless of their physical or mental limitations. The mission of SLC is to improve the quality of life; preserve the dignity and well-being of the elderly; promote development in special needs children; provide family caregivers with emotional support, physical relief, peace of mind and practical information; and provide support for community volunteer activities.
We provide adult day care services, including cognitive stimulation, to individuals with early to moderate Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Persons with Alzheimer’s who maintain basic life skills are able to remain in their homes longer. With minimal support, they are able to remain self-sufficient, which extends the time they are able to live in their family environment, thus enjoying a better quality of life.
Many times, family care givers are not able to work regularly due to the need for continuous care for their loved one. By providing affordable daily care, SLC enables caregivers to remain in or rejoin the workforce. Our services also facilitate respite and support for family caregivers. Successful Living Center has paid and volunteer staff trained in the care of persons with dementia.
2. YOU SAY THAT YOU TAKE AN INTERGENERATIONAL APPROACHTO ADULT AND CHILD CARE. DESCRIBE THAT APPROACH TO US.
Intergenerational sites are programs where children and/or youth, along with older adults, receive services at the same site. Both generations interact during regularly scheduled intergenerational activities, as well as through informal encounters. Research has shown thatfor older adults, regular interaction with children results in an atmospherethat is more homelike and promotes social enrichment and a renewed interest in others.
Studies have shown that older adults with dementia or other cognitive impairments experience more positive affect during interactions with children than they did during non-intergenerational activities. Additionally, intergenerational programs seem to have a lasting positive effect on participants that was noticeable when they returned to non-intergenerational activities they were involved in.
Though Successful Living Center is currently providing only adult care, our ultimate goal is to add child care services, allowing us to implement our intergenerational program.
3. IS THERE A HIGH DEMAND FOR ADULT CARE?
Yes. As the number of seniors continues to increase, the demand for adult day care continues to rise. Based on information from the 2013 U.S. Census report, in Montgomery County 14.9% of the population is 65 years or older; in the city of Montgomery 11.9% of the population fall within the 65 and above category.As healthcare advances, people with health problems are living longer, resulting in an increase in the aged population. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance website, the 65+ population and the number of caregivers will more than double between 2000 and 2030, increasing to 71.5 million from 35.1 million in 2000.
4. WHAT TYPE OF ACTIVITIES DO YOU HAVE FOR THE ADULTS? HOW DOES IT HELP THEM?
Our program provides the structure needed for individuals with dementia. Our participants have a sense of belonging, and they engage in activities designed to enhance their cognitive functions and their quality of life. Successful Living Center provides a homelike environment that encourages and promotes independence. We provide memory enhancement games, reminiscent sessions, and individualized care plans to help guide staff in meeting each participant’s individual needs. We offer activities that encourage social interaction, arts and crafts, and medication assistance. Our main goal is to encourage independence in a nurturing and supportive environment that will give them a sense of well-being.
Veronica McKenzie graduated from Tuskegee University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She earned her Master’s degree in Adult Health/ Nursing Administration from Troy State University Montgomery in 1995. In 2008, she gained her certification from the State of Alabama as a Dementia Educator and Trainer. She is a Basic Life Support instructor through the American Heart Association.
Ms. McKenzie has worked with individuals with Alzheimer’s and related dementias in hospital, nursing home and home care settings. Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers suffered with the disease. Her understanding of what families is experiencing makes Successful Living Center more than a nonprofit business; it reflects her personal passion. Her desire is to provide supportive services to families, minimizing the stress of continuous care-giving, and presenting them an opportunity to rest, work and have normal lives.
Veronica McKenzie founded a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Successful Living Center, Dementia Specific Adult Day Care Center in March 2006. Successful Living Center has been providing services to individuals with early to moderate Alzheimer’s disease for five years.
Successful Living is located at 1902 Bullard Street Montgomery, AL 36106
Fore more information call 334-264-1790