Improving Strength for Dementia Residents

Strengthening muscles of residents living with dementia is extremely important. Strength Training for Residents with Dementia explains that loss of strength will ultimately lead to a rapid decline in health. To prevent isolation and even depression while improving one’s quality of life, there are three simple steps to engage residents in: approach, adaptation, and observation. Sutton Homes partakes in all three of these steps in their residential homes because they understand the importance of improving their activities of daily living. Each resident is different and that is why Sutton Homes caregivers approach all residents with dignity and respect while using correct verbal cues to reassure them. Adaptation is just as important and really entering their world and adapting to their environment can make all the difference. Since Sutton Homes offer smaller homes with fewer residents, observing each individual is fairly easy to track and ensure they are maintaining the necessary strength training customized to each person.

When someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia

When someone you love very much is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, fear and uncertainty may get the best of you.  Alzheimer’s specifically, is a disease many do not wish to go through. Not only is it hard to care for your loved one, sometimes you must seek help from others. The daughter mentioned in the Mother’s Lesson New York Times article experienced similar feelings as her mother’s memory began to decline. Once she moved her mom into an assisted living community, things still went south. As the disease progressed, more care was needed from a different home. She finally moved to a smaller adult care home, with only six residents. Sometimes, larger facilities have more residents than care staff to look after and these smaller residential homes are perfect for a more one on one interaction. Sutton Homes provides homes similar to the one mentioned in the article in residential neighborhoods. Familiar settings are key in helping with this aging disease, and that is something Sutton Homes are known for.  Allowing residents to feel safe and secure in a comforting, intimate home where they can be themselves. Guilt and sadness were among the several feelings the mom couldn’t shake and it was not until her mom fell on the grass one morning while they were heading to church, did she realize to live in that exact moment. Lying down, looking towards to sky, smiling ear to ear, her mom felt peace and happiness. Live in the present, not the past or future. That is the lesson here. While your loved one is experiencing an aging disease, they are not sad or angry. They are simply living in the moment and once you experience this too, nothing else seems to matter except right now.

To read A Mother’s Lesson: When memory memory fails, delight in the moment New York Times Article, click here




Let’s Get Physical!

Physical activity is commonly known to be good for the body. That being said, it is also hard to keep up in workout routines or other physical activities with our busy schedules. Reasons to stay motivated may play a key role in whether or not to get up an hour early to hit the gym as well as at the end of the day when you’re exhausted from a hard day’s work. Professor, James T. Becker, Ph.D from Pitt School of Medicine explains that physical activity can help protect the brain from cognitive decline and a large number of studies proves this.

According to a new study the University of Pittsburgh published, whatever kind of physical activity you engage in, as long as it involves movement, is great for not only the body, but the brain as well. Older persons who were more physically active, had larger gray matter volumes in areas of the brain in charge of memory and learning. The study further showed that people who burned the most calories also had larger gray matter volumes, which was proven to lessen the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease in five, short years.

Sutton Homes has recognized the importance of staying physically active and has incorporated daily physical routines in their homes. Caregivers perform different exercises for the seniors to replicate, including arm and leg lifts as well as going on walks around their home and neighborhood. Ensuring some type of movement can go a long way and will ultimately improve your loved one’s overall quality of life, an objective Sutton Homes strives to accomplish.

In loving memory of Jack

My Brother Jack

Mary Lou, whose brother resided in Sutton Homes, is putting together a lovely 45-minute film in loving memory of Jack to celebrate the times they cherished together. The film will be placed in film festivals all across America, including the festival, “Sprout: Making the Invisible Visible.

“The film is really my story,” Mary Lou told me. When she “suddenly becomes the guardian of her aging brother, who is developmentally disabled, she reflects on their lives and the impact he’s had on hers, and is completely unprepared and overwhelmed by her new responsibilities, initially relying on others, but ultimately, finding purpose in her role and a belief in herself.” Mary Lou explains that the film is more than just memories they shared, but displays the influence Jack had on her life in such a positive manner.

Mary Lou also talked about how “the second part of the film covers the period when I am Jack’s guardian, after our parents have died, and I am trying to figure out what is best for him.” She tells us how fortunate she was to find Sutton Homes! “The home was beautiful, and Jack loved it there.  Sarah and Christine (his caregivers) were his angels!  He also became friends with another resident, Bill, and they would sit together in the beautiful courtyard and watch the squirrels. The home was just so intimate and caring and loving.”

Throughout his time at Sutton Homes, Mary Lou was extremely grateful and touched by Sutton Homes extraordinary care for Jack. Mary Lou explains at Jack’s previous home, he never had a real relationship with his caregivers, as there were so many of them on different shifts. Because of his dementia, he never learned their names. But, at Sutton Homes, he knew Sarah and Christine as friends, and he knew their names!  Because there were just the two of them on 24-hour shifts, Jack was so much more comfortable and relaxed and familiar with them, and he trusted them and grew to love them.” Sutton Homes provides assisted living in smaller residential homes so the residents feel right at home in a familiar setting while building dear friendships with the other residents and the caregivers.

To be able to provide unique, quality care, for people in need is truly remarkable and the fact that Sutton Homes does just that is extremely heartwarming. We thank you, Mary Lou, for creating such a wonderful film about Jack’s time here at Sutton Homes. We are forever grateful to have known someone as special and memorable as Jack.



Thank you Jack for being part of the Sutton Homes Family! Jack lived at our St. Giles home.

Mediterranean Diet May Fend Off Memory Loss

Brain Boost: Mediterranean Diet May Fend Off Memory Loss

Memory loss can affect almost anyone and although there is no definite cure, eating the right foods can help fend off age-related cognitive decline. Allison Aubrey, author of “Brain Boost” explains research has shown Mediterranean diets to be extremely helpful in maintaining the brain’s acuity. Fish, nuts, vegetables, and olive oil are just some of the many foods among that diet, which is great since these meals are so easy to prepare. Sutton Homes employs caregivers that provide these delicious meals three times a day for its residents. More importantly, they are prepared in a residential home to bring warm familiarity to the resident. Vegetables and fruits are crucial to their diet since these foods are rich in antioxidants. Researchers also documented in 2013 that the Mediterranean diet cut the risk of heart attack and strokes by almost 30 percent. Sutton Homes wholeheartedly believes continual healthy eating is the way to go, paying special attention to the preferences and needs of its residents.

For more information regarding “Brain Boost” please check out the link below:

The Healing Power of Music

More than five million people in the US have Alzheimer’s, a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss, confusion, restlessness, and mood swings. Mary Ellen Geist, author of the “The Healing Power of Music” goes into detail about exactly this; “music can be good medicine”. Jane Flinn, a behavioral neuroscientist at George Mason University, tested the effects of singing on people with Alzheimer’s disease with two songs, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Isn’t It Romantic?”  Flinn displayed that the mental keenness of those people who regularly sang improved sharply over a four months. Sutton Homes participates in music activities in all their homes, allowing residents to walk down memory lane by playing their favorite songs. This “medicine” is so beneficial to the community as a whole as it can ease the pain of family members just like it did for the father in the article. Playing songs by Frank Sinatra calmed his mother down during sun-downing, a certain time where residents feel anxiety and angst. Comforting music like this relieves the pain of loved ones, knowing their mom or dad is happily singing along to the lyrics.


For more information regarding “The Healing Power of Music” please check out the link below:

Sutton Homes New Admissions & Marketing Director

We have a new admissions and marketing director and we’re excited!

Please join us in welcoming Kathie Bretz! Kathie has been in the Health Care Industry since 1979. After graduating from high school in 1976 she went to the Warren Institute for Business for Accounting. Since moving to the Greater Orlando Area from Connecticut in 1996 Kathie has been involved with the Senior Community. Most of her years have been spent working in Skilled Nursing Facilities, from hands on care, medical records, to unit secretary. Kathie has been in Admissions/Marketing/ and as a hospital liaison for the past 15 years which she finds Extremely Rewarding. She has a strong passion for the Elderly with a strong focus on patient/resident wellness. Kathie is adept at public and community relations.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and 3 grandchildren. She also has a love for crafts and bringing old tired furniture back to life with painting.



Memory Care Communities continue to pop up in Central Florida.


According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 720,000 Floridians will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia by 2025. That’s a 44% increase from where we are today. Sutton Homes is pleased to have been serving our seniors with memory impairments for over twenty years. Our goal is to give our resident’s quality care as well as have them engage in  every day home like activities so they’ll never forget what it’s like to be at home. We feel that those living with memory impairments may not benefit from living in a large facility as this could be a bit overwhelming. When considering a memory care community, make sure to acknowledge residential care homes who specialize in Alzheimer’s and Dementia as well as communities who offer small home like or neighborhood style environments. Stop by Sutton Homes for a tour of our memory care residential home. We would be happy to have you!

Click the link below to read more about Central Florida memory care communities in the Orlando Sentinel.–20151231-story.html

Sutton Homes promotes staying active!

Sutton Homes promotes staying active by remembering what it’s like to be at home. We encourage our residents to do house hold tasks such as setting the table, making the bed, and folding laundry not because our caregivers need the help but merely to ensure our residents don’t forget how to complete these everyday tasks that some of us take for granted. Aside from scheduled fun activities that our residents enjoy, we also invite guests to entertain the Sutton Homes residents. We hope you can stop by to enjoy January’s planned events! Check out our schedule below.

Happy New Year!

January 2016

Music Therapy with Kendall:

  1/5/16—Miscindy 10AM

  1/7/16—Derbyshire 9:30AM, Glastonberry 10:30AM, Quenita 1PM

  1/15/16—Cynthianna 1:00PM, Tivoli 2:00PM

  1/19/16—St. Giles 9:30AM, Sand Pines 10:30AM

  1/26/16—Quenita 10:30AM

  1/27/16—Miscindy 10:00AM

  1/28/16—Cynthianna 9:30AM, Tivoli 10:30AM

  1/29/16—Derbyshire 9:30AM, Glastonberry 10:30AM

Entertainment by Kenny Wayne:

  1/5/16—Cynthianna 10:30AM, Tivoli 1:00PM

  1/7/16—St. Giles 10:30AM, Sand Pines 1:00PM

  1/12/16—Miscindy 10:30AM, Quenita 1:00PM

  1/14/16—Derbyshire 9:00AM, Glastonberry 11:00AM, Mt. Dora 2:00PM

  1/19/16—Miscindy 10:30AM, Tivoli 1:00PM

  1/21/16—Mt. Dora 2:00PM

  1/26/16—Sand Pines 10:30AM

  1/28/16—St. Giles 10:30AM

Team Elliott:

  1/4/16—Quenita 10:30AM

  1/18/16—Glastonberry 1:30PM

Home for the holidays!

I knew mom’s behavior was changing but I assumed it was due to her aging gracefully. When I call, she was often forgetful about when she saw me last, how to use the phone to return my calls, or when she does remember how to use her phone, I receive late night calls asking how to work her television remote.

Now I am home for the holidays noticing a big change in her. She repeats herself over and over, asks me the same question every two minutes, and forgets how to complete a sentence. She is also confusing me with her sister who passed some time ago…. Mom’s neighbors approached me and warned me that mom is inviting strangers into her home for coffee; my mom hates coffee.

I can’t leave her alone like this but I know I can’t move her into my tiny apartment out of state either.

Is it time for her to move into an assisted living facility? I am afraid she would hate me for moving her into a place away from her own home. A large facility with long hallways and several new faces. My mother gets overwhelmed in large crowds so moving her into a large building is not a good idea. After researching nursing homes versus assisted living as well as small residential assisted living facilities, I realize that a small 5-6 person home is a wonderful option for mom.

A home with cooked meals, one caregiver to serve sonf help with activities of daily living, as well as ensure her safety is the perfect option for mom not to feel overwhelmed with scheduled activities and multiple people around her. Mom can feel like she is in her own home away from home.

Sutton Homes offers a residential style assisted living for those living with memory impairments. Their business model is to ensure that resident’s don’t forget what it feels to be at home. They have 24 hour caregivers, activities, and home-cooked meals. Knowing that your loved one is well taken care of through out the year is a relief. When you come home for the holiday’s, you’re visiting your loved one in their home, Sutton Homes.

Contact us for a tour!

Happy Holidays!

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