CARF Aspire to Excellence gold logo

As an accredited organization with significant expertise in the field of aging, staff at Kendal at Lexington strive to be bring understanding, compassion, and care to residents with cognitive impairment, dementia, and memory-damaging conditions.

Integration Means No “Memory Care Unit

Kendal at Lexington has always operated as an inclusive community. Physically healthy and mobile residents with cognitive impairment live alongside other community members. Maintaining friendships and staying active are important for everyone here, as isolating memory-care residents may decrease overall quality of life for all residents.

Residents who are in the earlier stages of dementia who are otherwise healthy and mobile live in Webster Assisted Living. For those who have other conditions as well, the Borden Health Center is the solution.

Both areas offer attractive places to live, dine and gather, as well as caring but vigilant 24-hour oversight. Family members and friends are always welcome.

High level of staff awareness and expertise

Every staff member at Kendal, from administrative to maintenance to direct care, are participating in trainings aimed to improve the understanding of dementia and cognitive impairment.

One such training is the virtual dementia tour. Imagine trying to complete a simple task while dealing with blurry vision, fingers that can’t move just right, and many other distractions competing for your attention. The virtual dementia tour began with care giving staff and was quickly requested by other support staff members.

Participants wear smudged goggles, gloves with fingers taped together, and headphones with garbled noise while attempting to do a simple task. This activity drives home the feelings of confusion and overstimulation that residents deal with and participants emerge with a greater understanding and empathy.

Another training focuses on how to interact with someone affected by cognitive impairment and is available to all staff, volunteers, and even family members. “It’s very likely that anyone here at Kendal, including those behind the scenes, will encounter a resident during their day. Knowing how to best approach them has made our program very successful,” said Charlotte Sibold, Health Care Administrator.

Keeping all residents engaged in activities boosts quality of life at Kendal

Often those with cognitive impairment feel the need to be active but may not know or think of something they can do. That need can evolve into restlessness and agitation.

“By doing an activity and completing it, they now feel a sense of accomplishment,” said Shannon Khalifa, Resident Life Program Coordinator. “Even if they can’t remember doing it, that feeling helps them to relax for a while, it’s a good balance of activity and rest.”

Kendal recognized for its robust dementia program by CARF

In 2019, Kendal at Lexington was recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) as having a robust dementia program.

In addition to using music to keep residents engaged, Kendal creates activity centers that allow residents to draw on past hobbies or jobs to regain a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Using Montessori techniques, which focus on the activities a resident can do or may remember, the staff involves the residents in a variety of activities, including something as simple as folding napkins or setting placemats on the table for dinner.

New living model at Kendal offers Residents a Place to Call Home

As a way to improve the quality of life for residents of the Borden Center at Kendal, a new living model is nearly complete. Rather than a previous arrangement that accommodated 60 or more residents, with one big dining room and one big activity room, the remodeled areas provide a more intimate homelike setting. See related post.

The new configuration incorporates separate households will have their own dining areas, sunrooms, living room, activity rooms and both indoor and outdoor garden areas. “The new areas have lots of windows and natural light and easy access to the outdoors,” said Sibold. “Having fewer persons come together to eat and interact should make it more comfortable so they can enjoy a meal and not be over stimulated.”

Most resident room renovations have been completed with the final renovations slated to be finished in summer of 2020.

For more information or to request a tour of Kendal at Lexington, contact