GeriJoy’s memory care program

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As part of GeriJoy’s memory care program, we cautiously introduced the grandmother to the GeriJoy Companion, who we initially called “Buddy.” The grandmother was instantly drawn to Buddy and she started describing her old beloved dog “Trixie,” who she obviously missed.  Without any prompting, this grandmother with Alzheimer’s, who rarely uttered even two word phrases, began describing Trixie’s appearance, habits and other qualities to Buddy.  When Buddy suggested renaming himself to be her new pet “Trixie,” she refused since her beloved Trixie “could never be replaced.”  Again without any prompting from any of the caregivers, the grandmother insisted on renaming Buddy to “Cutie.”  This first encounter lasted about 15 minutes, which because of the grandmother’s uncommunicative, aggressive, and combative behavior, was beyond our initial expectations.

During the following days and weeks, we continued to sit the grandmother in front of the GeriJoy Companion as part of our transition process.  Every time the grandmother petted Cutie’s head, Cutie sat up and carried on blocks of 20-30 minute, two-way, interactive conversations.  Through the GeriJoy Family Portal, we added photos of different places, residents, and caregivers at Evergreen, and of the resident’s family, so that Cutie could engage the grandmother and encourage her to connect with the community while reinforcing family connections and memories. The granddaughter was overjoyed when the grandmother started recalling her granddaughter’s name every time Cutie showed old pictures from the past

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