GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Daily activities like brushing your teeth can become a struggle for those living with dementia, but help’s on the way in the shape of an incoming memory care facility.
BeeHive Homes’ ‘Pine Tree’ brings nearly 20 beds to the Electric City, with workers here telling Montana Right Now they want to create a safe and secure environment for struggling family members.
“[People with memory loss] can wander in the facility, they can wander in other people’s rooms,” said Registered Nurse Kelee Lensing, who helps redirect them when those instances happen.
To help with that, each room comes with locks for possibly wandering residents. However, finding the right approach also plays a huge role, as caretakers build routines for the forgetful like daily showers.
“We usually do them in the evening, but if someone is used to taking them first thing in the morning, we’ll readjust,” said Lensing.
With almost a decade of experience with BeeHive Homes, Lensing says she enjoys her field of work, handling different things everyday. “They can be mad at you one minute… to having fun and doing a new activity,” she said.
Pine Tree Owner Michael Kingsley says he’s launching this facility to give families peace of mind, as his staff provide a sense of structure to their loved ones.
“Their day, from the time they get up to the time they go to bed needs to be structured,” said Kingsley. “A lot of people with dementia, once that routine is broken, it just throws them into a spiral, a downward spiral.”
On top of that, they’re also bringing 20 jobs to town, including housekeepers, care attendants and certified nursing assistants. As they prepare for opening day, Lensing’s hoping for a smooth launch.
“I just hope it goes as smoothly as possible, and we can learn more about more people that live in our community or outside of our community and that’ll just be a good place for them to live,” she said.
Pine Tree plans on opening its doors in early March, 2021. You can find more information about BeeHive Homes on their official website.