B-2: Design Success: How to Create an Excellent Memory Care Center Simulating a ‘Real Life’ Neighborhood

NAB; ANNC – 1.25 Hours | Wednesday, June 21 9:15 am – 10:30 am 

Session Description:

Memory care centers are often in healthcare facilities that feel drab and hospital-like in order to protect residents. While well-intentioned, the end result can be that seniors who require memory care feel burdensome and lose connection to their own vitality and memories of independence, potentially hastening their decline. Instead, imagine a memory care community that is vibrant and interactive, based on recreating the flow of tasks from real life in a specially designed memory care neighborhood. For example, Mrs. Smith meets a friend for tea in the cafe, then decides to walk to the post office to post a letter to her grandson. After her errand, she stops in to fold laundry before going to choose flowers for the vase on her desk. The simulation of these real-life tasks in specially-designed neighborhood rooms improves cognitive function in individuals experiencing memory loss and makes it easier for staff (and visiting family members) to work alongside them in a shared experience. A simulated neighborhood for memory care provides residents with greater enjoyment from daily tasks, a greater sense of community, and increases in self-esteem and overall positive mood.

Learning Objectives:

Describe how an interactive environment impacts quality of life for the resident.

Explain how meaningful activities decrease risks of undesired behaviors.

Explore how decreased risks impacts insurance costs for the organization.


Bette McNee

Asst VP, Clinical Risk, Graham Company

Bette McNee joined Graham Company in 2014 and is a member of the Safety Services Department working with clients in the Health and Human Services industry.  In her role as a senior clinical risk management consultant, she partners with clients to identify and decrease risk exposures in every aspect of operations from hiring staff to discharging clients home.  Bette has over 28 years’ experience as a registered nurse and nursing home administrator and through this experience, developed a renewed approach to risk management and quality improvement that is creative and collaborative that is based in approaches that are consistent with best practices, but also sensitive to the constraints and pressures of today’s busy work environment.

Cindy Shemansky

Assistant Executive Director Masonic Village at Burlington

Cindy Shemansky, MEd, RN, LNHA, CDP serves as the Assistant Executive Director and the Administrator for Masonic Village at Burlington, (MVB).  Cindy has been an employee at MVB for 40 years.  She began her career working as a nursing assistant while attending Mercer Medical Center School of Nursing in Trenton, NJ.  Upon graduation, Cindy worked as a Staff Nurse and Preceptor at Mercer Medical Center in Trenton, NJ.  Missing the interactions of working with older adults, Cindy rejoined the Masonic Village team in 1985 as a Charge Nurse and Relief Supervisor.  Cindy earned her bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and a master’s degree in Educational Technology while working at Masonic Village. She completed her Administrator-in-Training program at the MVB and became the Administrator in 2012.