Columbiana assisted living facility specializes in ‘memory care’ for patients

Published 1:58 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018

By CAROLINE CARMICHAEL / Special to the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – A unique, assisted living facility equipped to provide memory care to cognitively-impaired individuals is ready to make a difference in Shelby County.

Premier Healthcare opened its doors in Columbiana on July 23, offering specialized services to cognitive patients who do not typically qualify for a nursing home and whose families may be unable to care for their everyday needs.

Patients might suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, repercussions of a stroke, or other cognitive challenges, according to the center’s director Shane Armstrong.

“[It is] a rarity — it’s not been done before in Columbiana,” Armstrong said of Premier Healthcare, adding that the company’s sister center in Helena offers the county’s only other specialized care assisted living facility. “It’s a great asset to the county and to surrounding areas, for sure.”

Specialty care assisted living is a “step up” from a normal assisted living because it focuses on providing a specific service to residents, Armstrong explained.

For Premier Healthcare, that specific service is memory care.

“We have activities that intrigue the mind or get the mind more active,” Armstrong said.

Memory care at Premier Healthcare focuses on longtime memory, employing activities such as music and aerobic therapies — particularly popular music and dances of the past, such as “The Twist” — and trivia, word puzzles and conversation to activate minds and recall early memories.

Armstrong said the center will soon be introducing another aid to patients: his dog Josie, a German Short-haired Pointer pup that will be certified to assist in occupational therapy and to serve as a “confidante” for patients at the facility.

Armstrong said care is administered to patients in a “homey environment,” where “everyone feels welcome.”

The cottage-like, brick and stone facility is located at 155 Egg and Butter Rd. and features an assortment of accommodations, including private bedrooms and bathrooms, field trips, salon treatment, three daily meals, snacks, field trips and more.

“The impact that I foresee is giving families a place where they can entrust others to care for their loved ones when they (the families) can’t,” Armstrong said. “It is a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art, totally renovated, brand-new, top-of-the-line facility where all aspects for care for cognitive residents are covered. And it’s just rare to find that.

For more information about the center, call (205) 669-9202.