Every month we invite one of our team members to sit down with us and tell us more about their journey to Elder Care Alliance and their community, their role now, and their insights into older adult care. We are excited to share the expertise and knowledge of our many team members who every day come to work and help our residents live their best lives with us.
Today we welcome Julie Downs, Memory Care Director at AlmaVia of Camarillo.
Us: Hi, Julie! Tell us a little about your background and your role at AlmaVia of Camarillo, one of the Elder Care Alliance communities.
Julie: I am Memory Care Director and help oversee the Memory Care Department at AlmaVia of Camarillo.
Us: How does your work benefit residents at Elder Care Alliance communities?
Julie: I help ensure our residents are getting the excellent care they deserve. I work with a wonderful team, and we all strive to keep our residents engaged. We want them to have happy, meaningful lives.
Us: Tell us more about a specific feature of your job or duties and what residents can expect to gain from that.
Julie: One important part of my role is assessing new residents and helping them adjust to their new environment when they move in. I enjoy getting to know each person individually and their families. Learning about each person’s daily routines, preferences and background information is interesting and helpful in making the transition to our community go smoothly.
Us: What is one of your favorite memories or experiences working at AlmaVia of Camarillo?
Julie: I enjoy helping our team host special events. We have had several wonderful events, including Glammas in Tiaras, Whiskers, Wheels and Whiskey, and Valentine’s Day wedding vow renewals (just to name a few). We all have a great time and love seeing our residents, their families and visitors from the outside community having fun together.
Us: What is the greatest reward that your role at AlmaVia of Camarillo, an Elder Care Alliance community, brings?
Julie: I love to see the difference it makes for residents and their families once they settle in after moving here. Our residents often improve as they benefit from our activity programming and the care they receive.
Us: Can you share any insights into new menus, programs, etc. you are planning for the future?
Julie: We are planning a Father’s Day event, an ice cream social in the courtyard and a 4th of July BBQ in the upcoming months.
Memory Care Overview
A memory care department, such as the one overseen by Julie Downs, offers engagement-focused and evidence-based care for residents with dementia and other conditions that cause memory loss. Elder Care Alliance offers memory care programs that help improve residents’ sense of purpose and quality of life. The program uses innovative techniques to engage residents and help them focus on the strengths they still have.
Nearly 8 million new dementia cases are diagnosed every year throughout the world. This staggering number is more than just a statistic. It represents lives that are profoundly impacted by memory loss. Using the I’m Still Here® approach, Elder Care Alliance caregivers learn how to recognize behaviors indicating that a resident’s needs are not being met. Caregivers then respond by providing the impacted residents with engaging and emotionally satisfying activities that cause the unwanted behaviors to subside. Elder Care Alliance holds to the premise that every person, regardless of current cognitive status, still has the ability (and the need) to learn and grow.