By Ashley Kwong, Creator of Memory & Company
Let me introduce myself. My name is Ashley Kwong. I am the owner and creator of a new club in Markham, Ontario, for people living with memory loss. It’s called Memory & Company.
I started on my journey of creating Memory & Company because I had worked in the memory care industry for almost 20 years and felt there had to be a better way. I saw so many people being institutionalized prematurely, and really burnt-out caregivers who felt limited in their options. I also saw some pretty poor treatment of people living with memory loss and wondered why such amazing people, who just happened to get this devastating disease, were getting such mediocre support in less-than-ideal environments.
It had always been my belief that with the right environment and the right approach to care, we could keep people living with memory loss at home longer, healthier, and happier. With this belief in mind, together with my very supportive husband, Victor, we sold everything to chase this dream. We opened our doors to our Club in May 2015.
So how did we do it? Memory & Company is as an 11,000 square-foot health club, social club, and spa that is designed for ease-of-use for those living with memory
loss, but designed as a place anyone would enjoy. We call ourselves the “Country Club” of Day Programs. Our Club features a gourmet open-concept kitchen,
complete with its own Executive Chef; a movie theatre; yoga studio; recreation room; music therapy room; secured outdoor lounge with a putting green; just to name a few. We also offer personal care and spa services so that Members look and feel their best, and go home happy and confident.
We’re not just a pretty space.TM
We also knows it takes more than just a pretty space with a good design to keep people happy. It takes great customer service. Our staffing ratios starts at 5:1, and
can increase as our Member’s needs progress. We train our staff on best approaches and practices, and design our programs based on our Members’ wants and needs. Members have freedom to choose which small-group or individual program they would like to participate in.
We also support the Caregivers and family who work so hard. We offer advocacy, support, and often, a shoulder to cry on to help them through this challenging chapter of their lives.
We are starting to get recognized internationally for our new approach to care in the community, and have had influential people come to see us from all over the world. Researchers from the London School of Economics in the U.K. stated that we are, “the future of dementia care.” Delegates from Norway exploring innovation in heath care stated we are, “turning the concept of memory care on it head.”
Our passion for helping families living with Memory Loss continues to drive our passion to make a change. Since our inception, we have now also become involved in research with universities and hospitals that focuses on improving quality of life.
I am so excited about the future of memory care, and hope you will come by to see Memory & Company. We offer tours and FREE trials for those that may need our service. To learn more about us visit memoryandcompany.com
Tips for the most Frequently Asked Question,
“What can I do to slow down memory loss and improve well-being?”
- Remain active. Getting out for a walk and increasing your heart rate will help increase blood flow to the brain.
- Stimulate your brain in new and challenging ways, such as introducing new routines or new challenges. This doesn’t have to be just crosswords or puzzles, but also simple things like brushing your teeth with your opposite hand. This type of challenge will help your brain find new ways of doing things, thereby keeping you more alert.
- Maintain a healthy balanced diet with foods rich in antioxidants. Many tired caregivers move to a basic tea and toast diet. Ensure you get a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, and a mix of proteins. Your brain will thank you!
- Stay hydrated. Many adults simply don’t drink enough water. This reeks havoc on your body and increases the risk of infection which can lead to increased confusion and delirium that is often confused with dementia. Aim for eight glasses of water a day.
- Remain social. Make sure you maintain relationships or build new ones. People who remain social are proven to maintain their health and happiness longer in life.
Watch Ashley Kwong’s interview on What She Said…