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Benton House opens new specialized wing for memory care patients in Aiken

Aiken Standard - 11/18/2018

Nov. 17--Benton House of Aiken, a local assisted living and specialized memory care facility, recently opened a new suite designed for residents with degenerative memory diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.

The new wing, referred to as the Orchard Community, is the second phase of Benton House's memory care neighborhood.

Orchard Community Coordinator LaRobyn Samuel first came to the Benton House after a patient she looked after for years relocated to the facility's other memory care neighborhood wing, the Beacon Community.

"I came in this field because of my dad," Samuel said. "He was a quadriplegic. And so I just had a heart to help people that are unable to help themselves."

Samuel started as an RA when she came to the Benton House, but was put in charge of the Orchard Community after it opened.

"At the end of September, I ended up with a promotion," Samuel said. "They asked me if I wanted to be the Orchard coordinator."

Although she works in a different wing, Samuel still gets to see the patient she looked after frequently.

Residents in the memory care facilities mostly suffer from dementia. Places like the Orchard Community are designed to accommodate the special needs many of these patients face.

Many of those accommodations involve keeping the residents active and busy. This can range from simply setting out puzzles and toys for the residents to occupy themselves with, to getting them involved with daily activities and clubs, such as painting in the courtyard.

Samuel said she often reads to the residents.

"Benton House of Aiken is honored to be serving our residents and families," said Margaret Kopp, community relations director.

Kopp said she would like the community to know they are not just about "helping people to live here" in regards to Benton House. Kopp said anyone with questions or needing help or resources on how to care for someone with a degenerative illness can call 803-226-0838.

Kristina Rackley is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard.

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(c)2018 the Aiken Standard (Aiken, S.C.)

Visit the Aiken Standard (Aiken, S.C.) at www.aikenstandard.com

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