Skip to main content

Susquehanna Life

Memory Care Residence Coming to Riverwoods

Mar 22, 2017 11:27AM ● By Erica Shames

Construction progresses on-schedule for a Memory Care Residence in the nursing care center at RiverWoods Senior Living Community, 15 RidgeCrest Circle. The significant remodeling is part of Albright Care Services’ strategic capital plan that will enhance quality of care for residents. Hepco Construction is currently renovating an existing wing of the nursing care center that will become the new residence.

When completed, the Memory Care Residence will provide 23 private and two semi-private rooms, offering accommodations for 27 residents. Environment, lighting and furnishings will be designed with memory care residents’ particular needs in mind. Details such as gliding doors and European curbless showers will offer safe and easy access in bathrooms, while a fireplace, dining room and enclosed patio and garden with seating and a pathway will make the space inviting and homelike. A spa will provide therapy and relaxation. Paint colors will be used as identifiers to aid navigation throughout the space.

Renovations include providing improved efficiency and cosmetic appearance. The nursing station will be designed to create a better environment for staff to care for residents and will include a reception window and office. On the exterior of the building, a modern mansard roof is being installed, as well as dormers that update the building’s facade. Energy-efficient bay windows will increase natural lighting and built-in heating and cooling units will increase space. A new ventilation unit mounted on the roof will supply fresh air throughout rooms.

Last year, Albright opened a Memory Care Residence at Normandie Ridge Senior Living Community, York. The new residence was built by Stewart & Tate Construction and designed by RLPS Architects and Larson Design Group. Residents in the Memory Care Center at Normandie Ridge have benefitted from the carefully designed space and Kaleidoscope, Albright’s therapeutic engagement program that encompasses all aspects of life.

Each resident is assessed daily in order to develop a comprehensive care plan that addresses each individual’s needs and capabilities.  Sodexo food service takes a personalized approach to dining that includes flexible dining hours and a variety of food options. Functional Pathways will provide physical, occupational and speech therapists to assist residents in maintaining their highest level of function, and a spa offers relaxation. Worship services include bulletins that use colors, shapes and numbers to help residents identify parts of the service.

“Colors, shapes and numbers are some of the first things that we learn, and are typically the last area of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias,” said Rev. David Brinker, chaplain at Normandie Ridge. “In our training with Good News Consulting, a team of experts in memory care, I learned that using these strategies helps residents rely on familiar concepts to assist in navigating through the worship service.”

Generation Connect, a technology company that collaborates with gerontologists to design training programs and guides that empower people through the use of everyday technology, has developed meaningful interactions on Apple iPads. Games, coloring and music apps on the iPads are designed to slow the stages of memory loss.

“These iPad interactions were designed to target areas of the brain—such as spatial awareness—that are not yet affected by the disease, helping residents with awareness and reducing memory decline,” said Michael Potteiger, founder of Generation Connect, as he physically moved colorful geometrical shapes into place on the table in front of an iPad on a stand, recreating a cat made of identical shapes on the iPad’s screen. The screen’s shapes lit up with each shape he correctly positioned. 

“Games are just one tool we use on the iPads—others include stories recorded by family members and illustrated by photos, coloring pictures on the screen and music. Each individual typically has a favorite type of interaction that they find therapeutic and select each time.”

RiverWoods is planning on implementing the Kaleidoscope therapeutic engagement program at RiverWoods. The Memory Care Residence is scheduled for completion in June. To learn more about care at RiverWoods, call 522-6234 or visit


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Susquehanna Life's free newsletter to stay informed