Dementia Care

With people living longer due to advances in health care, dementia and Alzheimer's disease are on the rise. As a leader in providing senior care services in Manitowoc County since 1887, Felician Village recognized the need to establish a focus on Dementia care. 

Felician Village has two secured households for those who have dementia - one household is located in The Villa (assisted living) and is for those with early to mid-stage dementia. The second household is in St. Mary's Home (nursing home) and is for those with late-stage dementia.

Lakeshore Memory Clinic 

The Lakeshore Memory Clinic is a collaboration between Froedert-Holy Family Memorial and Felician Village, and is an affiliate of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute (WAI) Dementia Diagnostic Clinic Network. This specialty clinic provides proper evaluation, diagnosis, education and management to help ease the challenges of day-to-day care and keep your loved one safe. The clinic is located on the Felician Village campus at 1635 S. 21st Street in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. 

As part of Felician Village's Dementia care, the Lakeshore Memory Clinic weaves our commitment to exceed industry standards by delivering quality, compassionate care to those we serve with dementia throughout our campus and community.

When to seek help

As adults age, many notice changes in their memory. For most people, forgetfulness is part of the normal aging process. However, memory changes may be due to reversible medical conditions or they may signal a more serious problem.

The following situations may indicate serious memory problems: 

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion with time, place or people
  • New problems with words in speaking, writing or repeating
  • Misplacing or hiding things
  • Withdrawal from activities
  • Changes in mood and personality
  • Challenges in planning or problem solving

Benefits of a memory evaluation

If you are concerned about your memory or that of a loved one, it is important to have a reliable evaluation. Not everyone who undergoes a memory evaluation has memory problems and that may be reassuring. 

If an evaluation shows findings of dementia, determining the cause will be critical for the following reasons:

  • The symptoms may be treatable or reversible
  • Certain treatments are more effective when started early
  • Understanding changes can help avoid other medical issues
  • A diagnosis allows you and your family to seek education, find support services, and make informed decisions and plans about your future

What to expect?

A treatment team consisting of a licensed psychologist, family nurse practitioner, and a certified dementia specialist will meet with the patient as well as family members. A family medicine physician is also available on an as needed basis. The initial appointment will take approximately two hours.

The treatment team consists of:
Cameron Goetz, PhD
HFM licensed psychologist

Melissa Koss, FNP, APNP-BC
HFM family nurse practitioner

Connie Thimmig, CDP
Dementia care consultant

Jeffrey Allen, MD
HFM physician

During this visit you will undergo a physical exam, review of your memory, thinking, and problem-solving skills. Staff will ask questions about medications, sleep, health, mood, and ability to perform daily tasks. You may undergo brain imaging scans and blood tests.

After the assessment, memory clinic staff will explain the results at either your appointment or during a follow-up visit. Based on your diagnosis, clinic staff will review options for treatment including medications, healthy lifestyle recommendations and offer information about community support services.

To make an appointment, call (920) 320-8600.

Snoezelen® Sensory Room

The Snoezelen® concept was developed in the 1970's by Dutch therapists as a result of research regarding the effects on participants in a sensory-deprived environment. The study found that when placed in a sensory environment, patients are stimulated and may often overcome challenges. St. Mary's Home and Villa Lakeside both feature these sensory stimulation rooms. 

Felician Village was the first long term care provider to offer this innovation in Manitowoc County. Three portable carts with similar sensory items are also available to use throughout the Felician Village campus in resident rooms.

Snoezelen involves the direct and indirect stimulation of the primary senses and provides a failure-free, no demands for rules or memory, alternative way to interact. 

Stimulation of the following senses occur with use of:

  • Touch: tactile board, panels and balls
  • Taste: aromatherapy may stimulate the appetite
  • Sight: optic fiber spray, projector, mirror ball and spot light, bubble tube, infinity panel
  • Sound: relaxation tapes, vibration and white noise, water and nature sounds
  • Smell: aromatherapy, perfumes and aftershave 

The Snoezelen sensory room has many benefits: 

  • Engagement: provides a safe and predictable environment where a connection and trust can be developed between staff and residents
  • Relaxation: the environment is described as magical, peaceful, soothing and surreal. It can reduce stress, agitation, irritability, frustration and anxiety, as well as, induce sleep
  • Distraction: helps the resident focus his or her attention during difficult times (such as bathing or changing of shift) and provides the resident with repetitive behaviors, a healthier alternative to increased medication
  • Socialization: provides the opportunity of socialization for residents who don't enjoy being in groups
  • Comfort: for both residents and their family. It is primarily experienced one-to-one but it is also successful with another person or two. Families enjoy visiting with a loved one in the room and may receive the same benefits as the resident
  • Stimulation: increases the resident's energy and ability to receive therapy
  • Relief: helps manage pain
  • Communication: provides an alternative method of connecting for the resident that has lost the ability to communicate verbally by using their senses
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