Symphony at Olmsted Falls' In the Moment program is a team approach to care delivery

Symph Olm Cover
A perfectly orchestrated composition of care elements make Symphony at Olmsted Falls a leader in dementia care. Find out how the team can help your loved one thrive. (Photography by Benjamin Mrgalit/Margalit Studio)

By Patricia Nugent

When her job called her to be out of town for several weeks this past June, Nancy M. of Columbia Station was faced with a difficult situation. Her 90-year-old mother Milly suffers from dementia, and although she was fine living with Nancy and her husband, she could not be left alone.

So Nancy started calling around to places looking for respite care.

“The people at Symphony at Olmsted Falls are wonderful to work with,” says Nancy. “They are very compassionate, understanding and flexible about our needs. Once I toured the facility, it felt like home, not at all medical or institutional. It reminds me of a nice bed and breakfast.”

Milly fit in so well with the environment, Nancy and her husband decided to have her become a resident. As an only child, Nancy says she’s very close with her mom, and visits her every day.

“Anytime I walk in the door, the caregivers update me on everything she’s done that day, which is nice,” she says. “I have peace of mind now knowing she is happy and safe. At home, with us both gone at work, she was starting to experience falls, which was scary.”

According to Megan Corrigan, who is executive director, Milly’s experience is not uncommon.

“Families will often utilize the Respite Care program when traveling or need a break from the stress of caregiving,” she says. “It is also great option for those considering Assisted Living and would like a trial period before making a long-term commitment.”

A Peaceful, Restful Place
Tucked back into a quiet wooded area on Elm Street, Symphony’s restful, pastoral interior décor mirrors the secluded feeling.

“Residents enjoy relaxing in our home like environment,” says Megan. “Our community offers 44 spacious apartments for our residents to enjoy social and quiet time. From the central courtyard to the restful front porch, our residents are free to enjoy the peaceful surroundings our community offers.”

A comprehensive host of services, from physical therapy to physicians, beauticians, rehab services, therapy dogs, cooking demonstrations and hospice are all available.

“Preserving dignity and enhancing quality of life—no matter where someone is on their journey with dementia—is our goal,” says Megan.

Nancy says that the staff is in tune with her mother. Once they realized how much her mom enjoyed outings on the minibus driving through the Metroparks, they always included her.

“She also loves the weekly musicians they bring in to entertain, as they play jazz and music from her era,” she adds.

A Modern Approach to Memory Support
Symphony created the In the Moment program as a team approach to care delivery that’s different from outdated dementia care practices.

“We recognize that each person we serve is unique, and we treat them as individuals, finding out about their history, likes and dislikes,” says Megan.

The holistic program is based on six principles of well-being: physical engagement, spiritual support, artistic expression, community connections, continuing education, and lifestyle and leisure.

Families Know They are Not Alone
Megan says working with families is one of her favorite parts of the job. And she’s pleased the Caregiver Support Group at Symphony has been gaining steam. On a monthly basis, caregivers meet to share their stories, questions and concerns with others, and it’s been a help for them.

“We want families to think of us as a resource for support, to let them know they are not alone in dealing with memory loss,” she says.

“Families are invited to be part of every step of resident’s lives as they follow their journey. Open lines of communication help us create the best experience possible.”

They also offer a full slate of events families can take part in, such as Family Night Dinners with entertainment once a month.

And the staff is always bringing in speakers who cover topics of interest to seniors. For instance, this month they celebrated Veterans Day, by inviting an attorney specializing in veterans benefits to come speak.

Is it Time to Have The Talk?

Megan says that heading into the holidays, families often get together and notice that their mom or dad’s level of competency has slipped. And this is the right time to have an honest discussion about options of care going forward.

“It’s better to be proactive than reactive,” she says. “If you do your due diligence and tour local care settings in advance of your need, you’ll be prepared for when the time comes.”

Symphony at Olmsted Falls is located at 25880 Elm Street in Olmsted Falls. Respite care and adult day care programs are also available. For more information, call 440-230-3591 or visit

Categories: Westside Smart Living