Wellness Wednesday: Borer Memory Life Community focuses on wayfinding and community care

Wellness Wednesday

JAMESVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — September kicks off World Alzheimer’s Month, but for caregivers and loved ones, it’s top of mind year-round.

Especially for those at the new Borer Memory Life Community for Nottingham residents.

It opened in February 2021 to complete its continuum of care. The campus now has an independent living facility, assisted living facility, and a memory community.

Inside the Borer Memory Life Community, there’s a focus on care and wellbeing that stems from the mind, body, and spirit.

“It’s all about bringing purpose and bringing meaning into their day.”

Andrea Canale — Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

In her experience, Canale believes communication is one of the scariest parts of memory loss. To help, she uses the five senses to spark memories.

If you think about when you smell a cinnamon stick, you may think about Christmas or you may think about Thanksgiving. Different smells can bring about so many different memories. With people who are struggling maybe with the grief of losing their memory, when you incorporate a familiar scent it brings back that joyful moment of a memory, something they can remember and you can build on a meaningful conversation.

Andrea Canale, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

Helping residents become more confident in their communication is something the staff always wants to strengthen, but recreational therapy is just one piece of the puzzle.

There are two neighborhoods inside the Borer Memory Life Community. The doors are different colors and each neighbor has his or her own shadow box to personalize outside their front door.

All of this is designed to fit one theme: wayfinding.

There aren’t a lot of interior wall spaces. We didn’t want residents to be frustrated, to hit those blocking points. This building was designed as a continuous loop.

Catherine Rosario, Administrator of Nottingham Assisted Living Programs

Each small decision was made to help neighbors identify their homes and find their way around.

“No one at home has the same front door, so for us, it was important to have you know, the doors not matching. Your door wouldn’t match my door,” Rosario said.

The staff also works to support each neighbor’s eating styles, sleeping habits and incorporate the things they enjoy through therapeutic recreation.

“The more that we can learn, the better we are together,” said Rosario.

“People are not their diseases. We are still strong and we still have beautiful abilities and purpose.”


If you’d like to learn more about the services at the Borer Memory Life Community, click here.

If you or a loved one are going through an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and you need resources to help navigate the challenges that come with it, you can always visit your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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