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Sensory Serenity: The Secret Behind our Special Touch Program


At Commonwealth Senior Living, our Sweet Memories neighborhoods feature award-winning signature programs specifically designed to elevate and enhance the experience of our residents with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. One of these programs, Special Touch, helps residents enjoy a unique start to their lunch and a relaxing way to wind down at dinner. These touches are warm, scented towels presented to each resident before their meal. At lunchtime, the towels are scented with citrus oils to awaken the taste buds and promote appetite. In the evening, they're scented with lavender to soothe residents, prepare them to relax, and promote a restful night's sleep.

Why are appetite and sleep so important?

A diminished appetite can be concerning for individuals of all ages, particularly seniors. Neglecting a fresh, nutritious diet can result in weight loss and various health issues. Our citrus-infused Special Touch enhances appetite during lunchtime, ensuring our residents can savor our award-winning farm-to-table dining experience. According to the National Library of Medicine, several factors may contribute to decreased food intake among seniors.

  • A slowing metabolism and less physical activity mean seniors need to consume fewer calories.
  • Changes to sense of smell and taste from losing taste buds as we age.
  • Side effects from some medications.
  • Insomnia or other sleep problems resulting in less energy.

We've often heard that sleep is the best medicine, and there's truth in that. While adults typically require seven to nine hours of sleep each night, aging can lead to earlier bedtimes and wake-up calls. This shift may result in inadequate quality sleep. According to the National Institute on Aging, a lack of proper rest can cause irritability, forgetfulness, increased risk of falls, or symptoms of depression the following day. Moreover, dementia can alter sleep patterns; some individuals oversleep while others struggle to sleep enough. For those caring for a loved one with dementia, here are some tips to promote a restful night's sleep:

  • Maintain regular exercise, bedtime, and sleep routines.
  • Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
  • Use low lighting in the evenings.
  • Try to avoid eating large meals or drinking caffeine later in the day.

Have you ever experienced a midday slump or felt overly energized at dinnertime? Indulge in our citrus and lavender-infused Special Touch Signature Programs in the comfort of your own home.


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If you are considering a move to a Commonwealth Senior Living Sweet Memories neighborhood for someone you love, please ask us about the Sweet Beginnings Family Orientation and Handbook. This will answer many of the questions you may have and help you get started on the right foot from the very first day. Request Sweet Beginnings Family Information

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