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Play Money Promotes Memory Care Independence

The Veraden’s care associates were surprised when memory care residents wanted to tip them for their services such as laundry delivery and meal service. Although tipping is not allowed at Sagora communities, this gesture of gratitude gave The Veraden’s Memory Care Director, Kelsey Hancock, an idea.

“I bought play money,” Hancock said, “I then distributed the play cash to all the residents and it has been so fun to watch them pay each other for miscellaneous things.”

In the morning, when Kelsey gets to work, a few of the residents ask her if she went to the “bank” for them. She then distributes the play money as if she had gone to the bank. Not only do residents use their play money to show their gratitude to The Veraden associates, but residents also exchange money with each other.

She jokes that one day she was tipped a total of over one thousand play dollars. “They think it is so handy that I would run their errands for them,” she said, “It has been great to see them feel in control and independent with their money as they once were.”

Sagora Senior Living communities focus all day, every day on ensuring that memory care residents feel like they are living a natural life.

Regional Lifestyle and Pathways Specialist, Christal Hoffman, believes using play money is an excellent way to let residents keep familiar habits while encouraging independence.

“It is powerful to see our residents maintaining their independence throughout their disease,” Hoffman said, “Kelsey did a fantastic job of taking something that most would just say ‘no’ to and turn it into something empowering residents to make decisions, maintain independence, and show their satisfaction to our team members.”

“If we as caregivers can eliminate the word ‘no,’ start to put ourselves in our resident’s shoes, and get creative, we will truly change lives! The play money is an excellent example of what our pathways program is all about. We are so blessed to have amazing Memory Care Program Directors like Kelsey, that will take the extra time to do the best thing for our residents because they deserve it.”

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