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Park Springs Memory Care Becomes First in Nation to Provide Butterfly Model

ATLANTA, GA–Park Springs Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) announced today that its Memory Care facility is the first in the U.S. to receive Butterfly Accreditation, a specialized endorsement offering a standard of care that is revolutionary to people living with dementia.

Introduced in the United Kingdom and implemented at Park Springs by visionary Andy Isakson of Isakson Living, the concept changes the institutional mindset to one that is person forward, adding a renewed focus to maintaining and improving lifestyle, health and comfort. Obtaining the certification required a year-long training of staff, construction and evaluation, resulting in the Highest Level 1 credential for Park Springs.

“Long-term care in the U.S., as in most countries, needs complete disruption and fresh innovation,” explains David Sheard, Founder of Dementia Care Matters and The Butterfly Community. “Park Springs took a leap of faith in 2017 to create a new culture of care where people would flourish and be loved. One year later, after vision, tenacity, passion and inspiration, it has become the first Butterfly Home in America.”

Park Springs’ Butterfly Model and Household Model of Care encourages Members—as Park Springs refers to the people living there—to retain their independence with the support of the care partners and homemaker in each household. The innovative concept is focused on Members and their emotional status.

Requests and preferred routines are first priority, while scheduled times for wakeup, meals or activities are no longer the standard. Members are met in their own reality—where they are emotionally and mentally—to provide meaningful experiences and relationships in a setting specifically designed for their needs and interests.

“We’ve learned that feelings matter most, and that is the hallmark of our care,” explains Tim Knight, executive director of health and wellness services at Park Springs. “ We have found that meeting Members where they are and validating those emotions results in unprecedented emotional and mental improvement.”

Specific Butterfly model attributes include brightly-colored walls, as people living with dementia commonly lose their ability to see muted color. Members are also encouraged to do activities in their current memory, such as former physicians discussing medicine or former teachers being offered school papers to “grade.” There is an open kitchen concept with the ability for Members to observe or assist with meal preparation and cozy seating areas with many engaging items placed strategically for interaction and conversation. And, staff wear regular clothes instead of uniforms to enhance the home-like setting, even donning pajamas when on their night shift.

“In a Butterfly Home, people are loved for both who they were and who they are,” Sheard continues. “People are helped to feel alive again, and staff learn how to bring out the best in individuals and create meaningful moments that really count. We can’t yet fix dementia, but we can fix our approach. Park Springs is a pioneer community leading the way.”

Locally-owned by Isakson Living, Park Springs is just the first planned development for the Butterfly Model in the Atlanta area. The company is currently constructing Peachtree Hills Place in Buckhead, set to open in 2019.