Carlisle Adult Day Center is enrolling new clients

The National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) defines Adult Day programs as “a professional care setting in which older adults and adults living with dementia…receive individualized therapeutic, social, and health services for some part of the day.”

Carlisle Adult Day clients enjoy gardening with the Master Gardeners from Penn State.

Messiah Lifeways Adult Day services go above and beyond in providing a positive, nurturing programming to meet a variety of needs in clients, especially those with a dementia diagnosis. Music, art, exercise, gardening, service projects, a hot lunch, special events… everything is geared towards socialization and maintaining the cognitive and physical abilities of each client. We don’t dwell on what has been lost; we focus on what is still possible.

We’re also keenly aware of the difficulties facing caregivers in Central Pennsylvania. Adult children need to continue working, devoted spouses become weary with caregiver burnout, families and neighbors feel ill-equipped to help. Adult Day programs like ours provide a safety net – a safe haven – for the clients and their loved ones. The Messiah Lifeways Adult Day programs are also strongly connected to the Alzheimer’s Association which adds an extra layer of support through training, resources, and caregiver support groups that help the entire family.

If someone you love is unable to stay safely at home during the work week due to memory impairment or another age-related concern or you know someone who would benefit from the services at a Messiah Lifeways Adult Day Services, please feel free to help spread the word. Some additional points of interest about Messiah Lifeways Adult Day programs:

• They’re secured and thoroughly equipped to put the caregiver’s mind at ease.
• They employ team members, including several Registered Nurses, who are well trained in therapeutic programming, validation and remotivation therapy, and more.
• Focus on the client – their memories, their interests, their hobbies, to make each day meaningful and positive.
• May help to reduce the unwanted behaviors that sometimes challenges families and caregivers.

Our Mechanicsburg Center is currently on a waiting list but our Carlisle Center does have openings. Melissa Brandt, the Carlisle Center Coordinator would welcome the opportunity to give tours and talk about the admission process with anyone who is interested. The Carlisle Adult Day program is located at The Meeting House, Carlisle Campus, 1155 Walnut Bottom Road.

Melissa can be reached at: 717-243-0447 or via email at

To learn more about Messiah Lifeways Adult Services, please visit


Messiah Village Multisensory Room in the News

Business Woman Magazine celebrated National Caregiver’s Month and National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month by highlighting the important ways that communication and sensory stimulation can aid those journeying through memory less and dementia.  Reporter Barbara Trainin Blank consulted with Krissy Koenig, CTRS, a community life leader at Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village who has extensive knowledge of Snoezelen therapy, sensory programming, and how aromatherapy, gentle hand massages, dim lights, and visual cues can calm behaviors and evoke pleasant memories. Read the article in its entirety here.

Raising Awareness: What Alzheimer’s Disease Is and Is Not

As the end of September quickly approaches, so too does World Alzheimer’s Month (WAM)®, but then National Alzheimer’s Disease and Awareness Month (NADAM) and Family Caregivers Month® kicks off in November. Organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association help raise understanding and awareness throughout the year, but have carved a special niche in the fall with the awareness months and large national fundraisers like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s (see photo below). Therefore, it’s a good time to continue the discussion and to learn more.

Though the average person generally understands that Alzheimer’s is a disease or affliction to the brain that affects things like memory, behavior, and cognition, some of the more specific details get muddled. To better understand Alzheimer’s it’s helpful to explore what it is and what it is not.

One of the most common misconceptions is that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are one and the same, completely synonymous interchangeable terms. However, dementia is actually the broad descriptor and overall term that describes a range of symptoms linked with a decline in memory and other cognitive skills. This can also include: losing one’s ability to reason, communicate, and focus; produce aggressive or difficult behaviors; and/or reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks like bathing or dressing. So if a person has dementia, it does not necessarily mean they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is just one of approximately 50 known causes of dementia. A few other types of dementia include: (click on each for detail)

Vascular Dementia
Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
Frontotemporal Dementia
Creutzfeldt-Jacob Dementia
Huntington’s Disease

But many of these other types are less common whereas according to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s represents approximately 60-80% of all dementia cases. Therefore it garners most of the attention and research when it comes to these types of degenerative neurological diseases.

While some forms or causes of dementia are reversible, such as thyroid problems, urinary tract infections and vitamin deficiencies, Alzheimer’s is not. It worsens over time and has no current cure and is fatal as it eventually shuts down the ability for the brain to communicate with vital organs. But treatments are available to battle the symptoms. Drugs like Namenda® and Aricept® slow the progression of memory loss, antidepressants help with mood, and anxiolytics help reduce anxiety and restlessness.

There is no single test to diagnose Alzheimer’s. While physicians can usually determine if someone has dementia, it may be harder to determine the exact cause. Diagnosing Alzheimer’s involves mental status testing, a comprehensive review of their medical history, neurological exams, plus blood work and diagnostic brain scans to help rule out other causes.

There is so much to learn about dementia, and websites like provide a great resource to gain knowledge and understanding of Alzheimer’s as well as other forms of dementia. But it also serves as a great place to turn for those dealing with issues like early onset dementia, caregiver burnout and other care issues. It also provides helpful facts and figures, 10 signs to look for, an overview of the stages, risk factors, treatments, and even covers myths about the disease, plus much more.

Additionally, other resources like the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America will be offering National Memory Screening Day on Tuesday, November 19 at various locations throughout the state at no cost. Click here for a full list of sites across the country.

“Still Alice” – A Book Review

Review & Post by Megan Blashford

As I prepared to make a 6 hour road-trip to West Virginia accompanied by my favorite golden retriever co-pilot, I searched for something that would help pass the time. Music is always a great option but, I feared that 6 hours of me poorly singing country music would be harmful to both my self-esteem and my dog’s “she can do no wrong” feelings towards me.

So, I searched on iTunes for a good audiobook that would keep me engaged for several hours. Under the “Great Books for Under $6” section, I discovered the book “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova. The synopsis read about a successful professor from Harvard University who struggles with her new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. I excitedly clicked download and got into my car for the long trip ahead.

The story begins by explaining that Alice, the fictional main character is a professor who has pioneered many of today’s modern theories on communication, linguistics, and language. As the keynote speaker for seminars all over the world, Alice finds herself in the middle of a speech in front of hundreds of people – and is unable to find the word “lexicon.” This begins the downward spiral of more and more episodes including being lost two blocks from her own home, forgetting to board a plane for a long-planned trip, and not remembering the recipe for a nearly 30 year family traditional meal.

With building concern, Alice goes to a neurologist and is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the mere age of 50. Her quest continues as she comes to grips with the reality that in a few years, she may not even remember her favorite memories with her husband, her children’s names, or even be able to feed herself.


Since my job revolves around individuals with moderate to severe cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia, I found this book thought-provoking to see the individual and family struggles of being diagnosed with memory impairment. Although tragically sad, Alice Howland’s story can be insightful to those who are dealing with a questionable diagnosis, have already gone through the process, or are just interested in the world of Alzheimer’s disease and treatment options. The quote below proves to be a meaningful and striking realization of someone in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease – questioning what life will be like just months from now.

“And I have no control over which yesterdays I keep and which ones get deleted. This disease will not be bargained with. I can’t offer it the names of the US presidents in exchange for the names of my children. I can’t give it the names of state capitals and keep the memories of my husband. …My yesterdays are disappearing, and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment.”