Dementia and Senior Care Professionals, Families Learn About Dementia Care at Lester Senior Housing Community

Senior care manager, Yakima Williams and team

Attendees Tour Residence's New Memory Care Suite, Learn About Progression of Dementia and Importance of Providing Comfort to Those with Memory Disorders

Over 70 long-term care professionals and service providers to older adults and 30 family members attended two impactful seminars about dementia care at the Lester Senior Housing Community on Aug. 21. The Whippany senior residence, which recently opened a specially designed Memory Care Suite in its assisted living building, shared “The Many Faces of Dementia, Alzheimer’s and other Memory Care Diseases.”

One seminar was presented by Laurie Loughney, COO of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey (JCHC), which owns and manages the distinctive senior community. The other was presented by Dr. Linda Travis, lead educator for Comfort Matters®, which advocates for and teaches person-centered, individualized memory care; Comfort Matters offers a nationally recognized accreditation process for memory care providers and is working with the Lester Senior Housing Community team to provide training and guidance in this holistic approach for its employees and management team. Guests toured the Memory Care Suite, an intimate, comforting environment for adults ages 62 and up with a dementia-related diagnosis.

Topics covered during the seminars included:

  • The progression of dementia from moderate to advanced stages;
  • The differences between medical and palliative models of care;
  • Why comfort is important for people with dementia, and what comfort means to friends, family and residents.

"It is clear that JCHC is truly committed to providing comfort care for all residents, is making a difference for the larger community and is further highlighting its leadership role in aging services," said Travis (2nd from left in photo). "On behalf of the entire Comfort Matters team, it is our honor and privilege to work with JCHC and we look forward to our ongoing collaboration."

Yakima Williams, the Memory Care Suite's first senior care manager, was surprised with a ceremony filled with accolades for her work at the Lester Senior Housing Community. Williams (center, photo) has worked for several years there as a certified medication aide and is a graduate of the JCHC's leadership training program (LITE) and was noted for always going the extra mile for residents. Williams expressed the importance of the Comfort Matters training and the LITE program in her professional and personal growth.

Memory Care residents enjoy a range of engaging therapeutic activities, each according to their needs and desires; these include gentle touch, yoga, music therapy and aromatherapy as well as crafts, games and social experiences. The suite has 12 new apartments, a central care station and outdoor deck with plantings and seating.

For more information or to arrange a tour, contact David Rozen at (973) 929-2725 or For information about the four senior living communities owned and managed by the JCHC, visit

Source: Jewish Community Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey


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