Hickory Valley: A Senior Living Community, which specializes in both assisted and independent living, is hosting a Memory Fair Thursday, June 20 at 5:30 p.m. to further educate the general public about the complexities of dementia.
The event is free to the public, but guests are asked to RSVP by calling 423-855-0508 as there is limited seating capacity. Hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served during the event.
"It's more than just a health fair," said Hickory Valley director of nursing Nena Mitchell. "We want the Memory Fair to be meaningful to people and to help them make a plan as they care for someone with dementia."
She added that the fair will also attempt to educate caregivers on how to better manage dementia, as it poses constant daily challenges and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Panelists presenting at the event include Dr. Larry Kean of Erlanger Neurobehavorial and Memory Services; Amy Boulware, who holds a Master of Social Work and will speak about community resources; Vernon Cox, a local caregiver; Bill Marcus and Cynthia Waldren, pharmacists at Bi-Lo; Jennifer Hindman, RN; and Master of Social Work holder Michelle Jones, who will present on inpatient treatment options; and occupational therapist Janice Ryan speaking on redirection skills in dementia.
Those suffering from dementia are prone to wandering, mood shifts, confusion and being suspicious of one's family members or caregivers, but there are different triggers or responses related to dementia, according to Mitchell. While Hickory Valley does not specialize in dementia-related cases, the retirement community is more than capable of offering ample care to its residents throughout their various stages of life, she added. Founded in 1984, it was one of the first retirement living communities of its kind in Chattanooga, according to Sales Director Holley Hasting.
"What is unique about the Hickory Valley community is that it started out as an independent living community," she explained. "As people aged in place, the need for assisted living grew." The retirement community is comprised of 118 separate apartments and is designed for people who no longer want to take care of their own home but still want that feeling of independence, said Hasting. The independent living apartments are equipped with full kitchens, but the community also has a fullservice dining room onsite that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is also an on-site beauty salon, which is open to the public, weekly housekeeping services, a nursing staff and full laundry services. Additionally, Hickory Valley has a full activity calendar that is catered to residents and voted on by them during weekly meetings.
An on-site chapel also features different church services on a weekly basis.
Hasting also noted that Hickory Valley now has an assisted living wing comprised of 15 different apartments where a higher level of care and more amenities are available to the residents.
Hickory Valley: A Senior Living Community is located at 6705 Ballard Drive. For more information on the community and its activities or to schedule a tour, visit hickoryvalleyretirement.com or call the office at 423-855-0508.