Whispering Winds of Apple Valley will soon be caring for families with loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Expansion of memory care services will begin next year in the assisted living community near Target and adjacent to the Victor Valley Museum on Apple Valley Road.

Monya Henry, executive director of Whispering Winds, told the Daily Press that 11 campus apartments are being transformed into a 19-bed memory care unit.

“The need for memory care is increasing across the country and in the High Desert,” said Henry. “We get calls every day from people telling us that the local memory facilities are full and they are coming down the hill looking for a place. “

The new unit will provide trained staff inside a closed and secure area that will include a yard, family-style meals and plenty of activities for residents living with cognitive decline, she said.

“If all goes well, we hope to open our memory care unit no later than January 2022,” Henry said of the senior campus that reported to Pegasus Senior Living in February 2019.

The ‘Connections’ program

Once the unit is open, memory care staff will use Pegasus’ Connections program to assist residents in need of memory care. “Connections” is led by Dr Sandra Petersen, Pegasus Senior Health and Wellness Consultant, specializing in neuroplasticity techniques.

The “Connections” program will engage residents through activities such as music, art and social interactions, as well as the use of aromatherapy, classes and recreation.

Physical activities include boxing exercises and walking clubs. The program also uses activities that stimulate the brain, such as word games, reminiscence therapy, a book club, and story time.

During Whispering Winds’ expansion phase, tours will be available for families seeking senior housing or memory care, Henry said.

COVID-19 safety guidelines will remain in place for all residents, staff and visitors.

Memory care needs are increasing

Figures show that 11% of people over 65 will develop dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of cognitive impairment in their lifetime, according to the AARP.

The number of people with dementia is expected to increase by 40%, or 139 million people worldwide, by 2050, according to a September report from the World Health Organization.

About 15.6% of palliative care recipients, or 177,000 people nationwide, had some form of dementia as their primary diagnosis in 2018, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization.

Although the WHO report does not give projections by country, a 2013 study estimated that the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States would triple between 2010 and 2050, reaching 13.8 million.

Call 760-906-8159 or visit www.PegasusSeniorLiving.com for more information on Whispering Winds.

Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz can be reached at 760-951-6227 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.

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