A one-stop shop for those facing the early stages of dementia is about to open in the Centennial area.
“There’s nothing like this in the state of Colorado from beginning to end: Our testing, therapeutic services, meals,” said Kathi Miracle, executive director at Alumia Institute.
Dementia is a decline in ability to think, remember and reason, impacting a person’s daily life and activities. Alumia Institute is set to open at 9800 E. Geddes Ave. in the Centennial area in January, bringing a wide range of therapy to help slow the pace of cognitive decline.
The 15,000-square-foot campus offers a social, daytime setting where members can participate in therapies involving art and music, physical activity, brain-training and computer games — and even eat a diet designed to help brain activity.
“Every journey with dementia is different and we understand that,” Miracle said in a news release. “As our members’ needs change, so do their therapies. We are here to help guide, support and educate our members and their families.”
People with early-stage dementia who are no longer working may be used to work hours, and Alumia is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Miracle said. Therapies are provided from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., including snacks and meals, the release said. The campus environment allows members to remain living at home or in an independent living community, the release said.
Alumia is set to be operational Jan. 2 and hold a grand opening Jan. 16, said Jake Rost, its chief operating officer.
The campus system is designed with its members in mind: Room signs are color-coded to help members find where they’re going. Staff who oversee members will wear shirts with colors that help coordinate with their groups, Miracle said.
A brain training room offers a program with computer games that help functions such as memory and navigation, and members also can access the program at home. Periodic evaluations will look at members’ brain activity progress.
A music therapy room offers touch-screen tablets with headphones and a few instruments including a keyboard. And in the full kitchen and dining area, members can benefit from a nutritional plan by well-known area chef Daniel Asher, based on what’s called the MIND diet — Mediterranean DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay — and findings in the diet-dementia field, the release said.
Located near the Inverness area in unincorporated Arapahoe County — just outside Centennial — the campus is accessible from Interstate 25 and East Dry Creek Road.
“It’s right in the heart of our demographic,” Rost said. It sits in an area of metro Denver that will allow the campus to reach many people with early-stage dementia, Rost said.
Alumia’s therapy program, called Kynemics, addresses four areas — physical, cognitive, nutrition and social — aimed at stimulating brain function. It’s based on recent research, including the conclusion that it may be possible to prevent cognitive decline using a multi-pronged intervention for older, at-risk individuals, according to the news release.
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