Dealing With Dementia

Dealing With Dementia

By 2020 the percentage of older adults is expected to grow 35 percent and number more than 54 million. Couple that with the fact that the 85 and older group is now the fastest growing segment of society. These demographics unfortunately bring with them many realities including soaring rates of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Every 69 seconds a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2020 the number of Floridians suffering from this disease is anticipated to increase 42 percent. Although public awareness has increased funding for research and great strides have been made, there is currently no cure on the immediate horizon. With the tidal wave of seniors expected as the Baby Boomers age, the impact this disease will have on families and stay-at-home caregivers will increase dramatically.

The Impact on Families

In 2010, there were an estimated 960,037 Florida families providing over 1 billion hours of unpaid care. The 2011 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures finds that caregivers not only suffer emotionally, but also physically. Because of the toll of caregiving on their own health, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $7.9 billion in additional health care costs in 2010.

There will come a time when a person with Alzheimer’s disease will likely need more care than can be provided at home. Although the individual may need to move into residential care, such as an assisted living community or a nursing home, many families are not satisfied with current options that are available. Thanks to public awareness and a Baby Boomer population not afraid to voice their demands, new housing alternatives are under development.

Planning for a move into a memory care facility should begin well before admission is needed. This advanced planning allows families to:

  • Learn about what care options are available.
  • Determine which options will best be able to meet the needs of an individual with dementia.
  • Anticipate the costs of care and find resources to help pay for them.
  • Learn about community resources available from your local Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Resource Center.

Types of Alzheimer’s Care Settings

Historically, there have been limited care and housing options offered for individuals with memory impairments. Currently, some assisted living communities have a wing or section that has been secured and offers care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Nursing homes also provide care in an institutional setting for those requiring 24-hour nursing care and supervision.

In response to public demand and the growing number of individuals needing specialized care, communities dedicated exclusively to memory care are on the rise. “Dedicated memory care communities are the culmination of best practices and the latest research in Alzheimer’s disease, and may be the best hope yet for providing quality lifestyles for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia,” says Stuart Beebe, CEO for Sonata Senior Living.

For more information about research, community resources and much more, visit Alz.org.

Guide to Finding the Right Memory Care Community for Your Loved One


Looking for the right memory care community can be challenging. You want to make sure you find the best place for your loved one, while dealing with a range of emotions. The entire family feels the impact when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's or a related form of dementia.

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New Longwood Memory Care Assisted Living Community, Serenades by Sonata, Celebrates Grand Opening

New Longwood Memory Care Assisted Living Community, Serenades by Sonata, Celebrates Grand Opening

Longwood, FL, Oct. 1, 2011 – More than 200 area dignitaries, community officials and senior living industry professionals joined Sonata Senior Living in celebrating the grand opening of its new memory care assisted living community, Serenades by Sonata last month.  Located on Ronald Reagan Boulevard, Serenades is the first memory care assisted living community to open in Longwood in 13 years. The state-of-the-art, purpose-built community features compassionate person centered care delivered by a highly trained team, award-winning memory care programming, and 42 residential suites located in three intimate neighborhoods.

The Grand Opening Celebration began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Sonata Senior Living CEO Stuart Beebe, Seminole County Regional Chamber President Frank Hale, Longwood Mayor Joe Durso and Serenades by Sonata Executive Director Julie Fernandez cut the ceremonial ribbon.

Guests enjoyed a progressive dinner while touring the community. Tour highlights included:

  • A visit to each of the three distinct residential neighborhoods
  • Resident room models
  • Neighborhood Reflections Room
  • Information of the community’s innovative safety features and technologies including smartboards and Apple TV.

“At Serenades by Sonata, seniors with memory challenges find the care, services, amenities and programs to live an independent a life as possible,” says Shelley Esden, Senior Vice President of Operations at Sonata Senior Living. “Ultimately, our goal is to ensure they also enjoy a meaningful and fulfilling lifestyle.”

Carolyn Sithong, OTR/L, SCEM, an area occupational therapist specially certified in environmental modifications and guest at the grand opening, said she found Serenades warm and inviting throughout every environmental aspect. “Architecturally and culturally every area, every niche and every staff member resounded a person-centered theme,” she said. “Our loved ones who live through the difficulties of dementia will, without a doubt, experience home as it relates to comfort and wellbeing at Serenades.”

She adds, “To visit Serenades is to experience home. We know that those who suffer from dementia never lose their ability to feel comfort, love and security – at Serenades, they will. Providing an environment like Serenades allows our community to have a home for people with memory loss, where they can safely live with dignity and new opportunity.”

About Serenades by Sonata         

Located at 425 S. Ronald Reagan Boulevard (1/4-mile south of SR 434), Serenades by Sonata is the first dedicated memory care assisted living community to be built in Seminole County since 1998.  Now open, the $8.6 million, 34,000 square- foot community features 42 private and shared memory care suites and employs 41 people.  For more information please call 407-951-6450 or visit us at www.serenadesbysonata.com.           

About Sonata Senior Living  

Sonata Senior Living is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sonata Health Care, LLC. Based in Orlando, FL., Sonata is an owner, developer and operator of senior living communities offering independent living, assisted living and memory care.  The Sonata team is comprised of experienced senior housing executives who have been instrumental in the development and operations of more than 20 Central Florida senior housing communities.

For more information call 407-286-6490.

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Serenades by Sonata Grand Opening Celebration & Open House

Serenades by Sonata Grand Opening Celebration & Open House

Longwood, FL, – August 22, 2011 – Serenades by Sonata is hosting a Grand Opening Celebration & Open House on September 3rd and 4th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at its new community, Serenades by Sonata, located at 425 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd. in Longwood.

The community is invited to attend. Guests will enjoy light refreshments and will have the opportunity to tour the community and learn more about this award-winning memory care neighborhood.

Serenades by Sonata is Seminole County’s first memory care community in 13 years, offering a lifestyle intended to inspire joy with its purpose-built design, person-directed care and commitment to strong partnerships with families. This one-of-a-kind memory care assisted living community has been intentionally designed to implement best practices and the latest research in Alzheimer’s disease.

Other community features include three distinct, intimate neighborhoods, an enclosed courtyard with walking paths and therapeutic gardens, neighborhood family dining, individual and group activities, as well as a 24-hour licensed nurse on-site and many other services and amenities.

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Serenades by Sonata Memory Care Assisted Living Community Opens Leasing Center

Serenades by Sonata Memory Care Assisted Living Community Opens Leasing Center

Longwood, FL, — April 11, 2011 — Sonata Senior Living is pleased to announce the opening of the Serenades by Sonata Leasing Center.

The new Serenades by Sonata Leasing Center will provide area residents with any and all information regarding the community and its commitment to person-centered memory care. The community features a purpose-built design, which means every inch of the community has been crafted to meet the needs of those with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory challenges.

At the Serenades by Sonata Leasing Center, those concerned about loved ones may stop by, meet the team and view the various suites that are available, as well as explore the award-winning services and amenities offered at Serenades by Sonata. Serenades is Longwood’s first memory care assisted living community in 15 years, and features an approach to care and lifestyle intended to Inspire Joy. The community will open this July.

The Serenades Leasing Center is located on the site at 425 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd. in Longwood. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

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Leasing Center Grand Opening Celebration at Serenades by Sonata Memory Care Assisted Living Community

Leasing Center Grand Opening Celebration at Serenades by Sonata Memory Care Assisted Living Community

Longwood, FL, – April 6, 2011 – Serenades by Sonata is pleased to invite area residents to celebrate the grand opening of its Leasing Center on April 30, 2011. Guests may stop by anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Serenades Leasing Center is located on the site of the future community at 425 S. Ronald Reagan Boulevard in Longwood.

The event will highlight the features that make Serenades by Sonata different from any other memory care assisted living community. Serenades is the first memory care assisted living community to open in Longwood over the last 15 years. The community was carefully planned to fulfill our core philosophy of purpose-built design, person-directed care and partnerships with families. Recognized by the Assisted Living Federation of America for it’s design and programming, Serenades will open this July.

Guests will enjoy refreshments, light fare, and entertainment from WLOQ 103.1 Smooth Jazz, as well as receive valuable information relating to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Special guest resource affiliates such as an Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return Representative, Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center and Seminole County Sheriff’s Elder Crimes & Services will also be on hand. At the event, guests may enroll in the Safe Return Program. Sonata will pay the membership fee for the first 10 to enroll.

To RSVP or for more information, call Serenades at 407-951-6450.

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Seniors and their families can rest assured that our personal approach to care carries over from one community to the next, allowing as many opportunities as possible for residents to live life their way.

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Sonata Welcomes New Executive Director to Longwood Community

Sonata Welcomes New Executive Director to Longwood Community

Serenades by Sonata Memory Care Assisted Living Introduces Julie Fernandez

Longwood, FL, – April 4, 2011 – Sonata Senior Living is pleased to announce that Julie Fernandez has been selected as Serenades by Sonata’s Executive Director. Julie is most recently recognized for her position at Oakmonte Village at Lake Mary, where she was the Director of Marketing.

Having held such positions in the past such as Campus Administrator (Alterra Healthcare), Vice President of Program Development (Spring Hills Communities), and Vice President of Operations and Marketing (Legacy Senior Management), Julie adds a unique skills set and an additional dedicated work ethic to the Sonata team.

Her esteemed efforts at her previous positions have led her to Sonata and the organization looks forward to working with Julie as she spearheads the efforts at Serenades by Sonata, Longwood’s first memory care assisted living community in 15 years.  Julie is a certified Dementia Care Practitioner, has served on multiple Alzheimer’s and other senior advocate boards, and shares the Sonata vision of raising the bar for senior living in Central Florida.

Julie’s passion for this particular industry matches the mission of Serenades by Sonata, with their implementation of a purpose-built design, person-directed care, partnerships with families, and exceptional memory care programming. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Sonata team. The community (Serenades) itself is truly incredible and it’s an honor to be in a supportive role to drive the underlying mission of Serenades, as well as Sonata Health Care itself,” stated Julie Fernandez.

Sonata looks forward to all Julie will bring to the Longwood community and warmly welcomes her to the team.

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Seniors and their families can rest assured that our personal approach to care carries over from one community to the next, allowing as many opportunities as possible for residents to live life their way.

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Sonata Senior Living Named Best of the Best Programs to Watch in Assisted Living Executive

Sonata Senior Living Named Best of the Best Programs to Watch in Assisted Living Executive

Orlando, FL – April 2011 – As judges reviewed the 2011 Best of the Best Awards entries, several programs stood out as great innovations in the early stages of development or without enough success measurements to fully assess at this point. We’re eager to see the results as these organizations continue to implement their great ideas.

Sonata Senior Living, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is developing a new memory care community with resident-directed rather than program-centered scheduling in mind. At Serenades by Sonata, multisensory cues such as touch, sound, and smell will be used throughout to provide residents with reminders of the purpose of particular spaces. For example, amber lighting in bathrooms will help cue residents who get up at night to use the bathroom. Residents will have unimpeded access to secure outdoor areas, and a wireless e-call system and door and window contacts will alert staff of resident emergencies.

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New Memory Care Assisted Living Community, Serenades by Sonata, Honored by Assisted Living Federation of America

Longwood, FL – February 15, 2011 – Sonata Senior Living and Orlando-based architect, Baker Barrios, will be honored at the Assisted Living Federation of America’s 2011 Best of the Best Awards with Program to Watch recognition for the Physical Plant & Environmental category for Sonata’s new memory care assisted living community, Serenades by Sonata in Longwood.

The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) Best of the Best Awards recognize those products, services or programs that make significant contributions advancing operational excellence in senior living. In 2011, new awards criteria have been introduced to recognize both senior living providers and companies that serve senior living.

“Even though the community is not scheduled to open until this summer, we felt the Serenades by Sonata program deserved unprecedented special recognition due to early indications that the program will truly change senior living,” said Jamison J. Gosselin, ALFA’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications.

According to ALFA, the organization received almost 140 submissions, an increase of more than 250% year over year. Each submission went through two levels of review and grading based on its uniqueness, innovation, addressing of ALFA’s core principles, business excellence and the quantitative assessment provided to us.

Located at 425 S. Ronald Reagan Boulevard (1/4-mile south of SR 434), Serenades by Sonata is the first dedicated memory care assisted living community to be built in Seminole County since 1998.  Expected to open in July 2011, the $8.6 million, 34,000 square- foot community will feature 42 private and shared memory care suites and employ 41 people.

The building design is “purpose-built,” incorporating the latest innovations and design considerations to maximize the comfort, safety and security of those living with Alzheimer’s, dementia and related memory impairments. Its flexible design allows continuous implementation of the most up-to-date programming and technologies.

The community will feature three distinct “neighborhoods” surrounding an internal courtyard with strategically planned roundtrip walkways, shaded resting areas, butterfly gardens, raised gardens, bird baths, fountains and other multi-sensory elements. Each neighborhood will have its own living room, kitchen, dining room, bathing area and laundry room. The community will feature homelike décor, directional cues, aromatherapy and interactive life stations designed to make residents and family members feel comfortable and “at home.”

About Sonata Senior Living

Sonata Senior Living is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sonata Health Care, LLC. Based in Orlando, FL., Sonata is an owner, developer and operator of senior living communities offering independent living, assisted living and memory care.  The Sonata team is comprised of experienced senior housing executives who have been instrumental in the development and operations of more than 20 Central Florida senior housing communities.

For more information visit www.sonataseniorliving.com or call 407-286-6490.

About ALFA

Founded in 1990, ALFA serves as the voice for operators of senior living communities and the seniors and families those communities serve. The members of the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) exemplify the principles of choice, dignity, and independence for seniors. To support these principles and to enhance quality of life for seniors, ALFA influences public policy, promotes business excellence, and ensures an informed public.

Find Unparalleled Care Across Each of Our Communities


Seniors and their families can rest assured that our personal approach to care carries over from one community to the next, allowing as many opportunities as possible for residents to live life their way.

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Sonata Groundbreaking

Sonata Senior Living, an Orlando-based owner, developer and operator of senior living communities, officially broke ground on January 27th on Serenades by Sonata, a state-of-the-art memory care community in Longwood.

Located at 425 S. Ronald Reagan Boulevard (1/4-mile south of SR 434), Serenades by Sonata is the first dedicated memory care center to be built in Seminole County since 1998. Expected to open in July, 2011, the $8.6 million, 34,000 square- foot community will feature 42 private and shared memory care suites and employ 41 people.

Find Unparalleled Care Across Each of Our Communities


Seniors and their families can rest assured that our personal approach to care carries over from one community to the next, allowing as many opportunities as possible for residents to live life their way.

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