August 2019 Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Laura Arick and submitted Looking for the right assisted living community for your loved one who is living with memory impairment can be a daunting and emotionally draining task. The owners and staff at Grand Brook Memory Care understand the weight of these decisions firsthand, which is why they offer the highest level of care and a holistic approach to dementia-specific care. Grand Brook Memory Care is proud to have opened their newest memory care assisted living community in Zionsville, Indiana, last month. Grand Brook Memory Care is family-owned and operated and offers more than 20 years of providing dedicated and high-level dementia care for its residents. Each of its executive directors in its communities are state certified. Grand Brook Memory Care focuses on the knowledge and experience of its staff and the quality and comfort of its buildings to ensure that its residents have the best experiences and greatest level of care. The owners of Grand Brook Memory Care, the Anderson family, continue to execute the vison and high standards set by the founder and matriarch, Jane Anderson. Anderson and her family share over 35 years of memory care experience and include a multigenerational family of nurses, business developers, an educator and a designer. Anderson is a registered nurse and dedicated eldercare advocate who has worked in the health care industry for more than 30 years and has specialized in memory care and neurological impairment for 20-plus years. Anderson has set the bar high regarding the training and skillsets of Grand Brook employees. Every Grand Brook nurse has received extensive training in memory care, and all Grand Brook employees are trained in dementia care. The Andersons run each of their communities with a focus on the clinical care side of the industry in addition to the business operations side. They believe in implementing the traditions of faith, family, love and caring for others in each of their communities, which is why families trust Grand Brook with the care of their loved ones who are living with memory impairments such as Alzheimer’s. Director of Community Relations Mark Wallis has been in senior care for 15 years and shares what differentiates Grand Brook from other memory care assisted living facilities in the area. “Being family owned and operated brings accountability—the buck stops right there,” Wallis said. “Jane Anderson, our founder, is a nurse who has worked in dementia care for many years. She had been part of a larger company with a huge portfolio of communities, and she wanted to get away from that and do the right way. The Andersons are very hands-on and believe in what they do. For them and the staff, it’s all about taking care of our residents, taking care of their needs and giving them the best quality of life.” Wallis continued, “There's a lot of senior living or assisted living communities out there that have memory care, but they are part of something larger and are not solely focused on caring for individuals with memory loss. That is all we do, 24/7. We are very specialized in caring for individuals who are living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Our staff receive a lot of extensive training in dementia care. We dive deep into how to provide effective care to somebody with dementia because it's different for everybody. Memory loss is so specific, and each person's needs are so unique. The Andersons are very invested in making sure that our staff get the best training and understand the disease process and how to most effectively connect with someone with memory loss and also how to provide the best personalized care.” The extensive memory care training that Grand Brook requires of its staff is what sets Grand Brook apart from other communities. The staff is trained on how to better understand and assist a resident who is having an off day or is experiencing the effects of his or her illness and is frustrated because his or her actions are beyond his or her control. Grand Brook’s staff understands that it is part of the disease process and provides residents with the attention and specific care that they need in order to live as comfortably and as well as possible as they progress through their disease stages. “Our relationship starts with the family member, that son or daughter who reaches out to us because they have a loved one in need of care,” Wallis shared. “Our first and foremost responsibility is to counsel the families and build a relationship with them. We help them understand what their options are and help them understand what to expect as the disease process progresses. By the time many of the families reach out to us, there has already been an incident or accident that was the tipping point, and the family realized they have to do something because they can’t go on as they have. There is a lot of guilt involved with sons and daughters who are facing the fact that their parents aren't who they used to be and are losing their memories. Additionally, they have realized that their parents’ needs are increasing, and it is difficult to carry that burden on their own.” Wallis shared that he went into senior care because of his own experiences watching his grandparents go through the assisted living process. “I’ve experienced both sides of the coin and have experienced exceptional care in a loving and welcoming environment, and I've also experienced apathetic care,” Wallis said. “I want our families who come to us to never have to experience poor and apathetic care. They deserve only the best. At Grand Brook, we are caring for these families’ most precious assets and never take responsibility lightly.” Another differentiator that sets Grand Brook apart is its open concept building layout, complete with a secure interior courtyard and common areas. The open concept of Grand Brook’s buildings is not only aesthetically pleasing but is purposeful. Rather than a long corridor of “apartments,” residents at Grand Brook have suites located off the main living areas, and they gather in an open kitchen and dining area for their made-from-scratch meals. Much like a residential kitchen, only with a much larger dining nook, the dining area is more conducive to fellowship and conversation between the residents and staff than the traditional dining halls found in the majority of senior living communities. Anisa Anderson works with her husband, Chad Anderson, and his family at Grand Brook. Chad is the son of Jane Anderson and the president of Grand Brook. “We wanted the open concept when designing our buildings because we wanted it to feel like a home for our residents,” Anisa said. “Our residents can be sitting right there at the counter while the chefs are preparing breakfast and have that personal interaction. We’re happy with the way the design turned out, for sure, but I tell our residents’ families all the same thing: We could build the Taj Mahal, but that’s not what really matters. What really matters is the love and care our highly skilled and knowledgeable caregivers and staff provide each day.” Grand Brook offers programming and activities that are designed around the residents and their specific stages of disease but also around their personal hobbies and interests. “It’s to see the resident turn around and become more social when they receive the care and the attention that they need,” Wallis emphasized. “It's not just about caring for the physical needs but about keeping them active and engaged to keep their minds going.” Chad Anderson is the president of Constant Care Management Company and oversees the day-to-day operations of Grand Brook Memory Care communities. He spoke about the unique quality of being family-owned and -operated and how it is Grand Brooks’ greatest strength. “Family owned and operated has allowed us to stay strategically flexible,” Chad said. “The needs of our residents and staff are constantly changing, and we need to change with them. Being a smaller family business, we are in our communities daily, and we listen to our families and staff. Our family culture fosters open communication, compassion and a common mission to provide quality care—the same care we would want for our own family member.” Chad credits his mother and founder of Grand Brook, Jane Anderson, for building the foundation and principles that Grand Brook continues to build upon with the next generation of leadership. “There are many lessons from Jane’s experiences in direct care, understanding the disease, empowering our team members and seeing life through those with dementia,” he shared. “But the biggest, and probably the simplest, is that we operate our company and make decisions based on what is best for our residents and staff—not the bottom line. This concept has led to our success in caring for our residents.” Grand Brook and its entire staff are excited to be a corporate citizen in Zionsville and look forward to connecting with the town and the surrounding communities in the days and years to come. “There is a definite need for memory care services in the area,” Wallis said. “There's a lot of options out there, but when it comes to specific memory care options, it's very limited. The owners want to be part of the local community, and as I come from a nonprofit background, I believe—and my philosophy has always been—that we need to build relationships throughout the community. We want to engage and become part of the community and not just sit off on the sidelines. We want to partner with local service organizations and churches and help serve seniors and their families in the community.” If you are needing assistance and are seeking solutions on behalf of a loved one in need of dedicated memory care services in a local and welcoming assisted living community, don’t wait. Contact Grand Brook Memory Care of Zionsville today and let the compassionate experts in memory care get you and your loved one back on a path of living well again. Visit Grand Brook Memory Care of Zionsville’s website at grandbrook.com.