WSL Approach to Care

Artistry of Moments

By creating an environment that fosters an optimum level of health and fulfillment, we are able to help our residents maintain a life with structure and purpose. This proprietary Memory Care training is called “Artistry of Moments.”

Providing care for people with dementia is one of the most fulfilling and important roles someone can play. Wickshire takes that responsibility seriously and has developed a training method to support this important role, account for daily expectations and create moments of success for residents ultimately making their lives better. 

At Wickshire, we ensure memory care residents have opportunities throughout their day to achieve whole-person wellness. Our associates are provided monthly educational experiences to ensure residents are receiving the best care and experience possible. The Artistry of Moments is a comprehensive training system incorporating Teepa Snow’s GEMs model and the Montessori approach to programming. Teepa Snow is a leader in educating others on how to care for those with dementia.  She offers training and information for families and caregivers alike.

At Wickshire, we’ve developed a positive approach to care for individuals with dementia that focuses on meeting their needs and expectations based on their abilities and wants. This approach can be broken into 3 main categories: 

Physical approach: Our associates are trained on how to approach and physically interact with memory care residents by following these steps to successful interaction:

  • Knock
  • Greet and Smile
  • Walk slow (one step per second)
  • Move from the front to the side
  • Greet with a handshake and your name
  • Slide into hand-under-hand hold
  • Get to the person’s level
  • Be friendly
  • Give your message

Emotional approach: In order to ensure successful communication, we follow these steps:

How you speak

  • Tone (friendly)
  • Pitch (deep is better)
  • Speed (slow and easy)

What you say (3 reasons to communicate)

  • To get the person to do something
  • To have a friendly interaction
  • To deal with the person’s distress or anger

How you respond

  • If what you are doing is NOT working, STOP. Back off, decide what to do differently and try again

Social approach: At Wickshire, we believe that understanding the individual you’re caring for is vital to designing a day that fulfills our mission of making their life better. 

Monogram Club

The Monogram Club is a person-centered care strategy in which programming is offered based on wellness needs, wants and abilities. Staggered in two tiers, Classic and Heritage, this approach provides appropriate opportunities for all residents to achieve whole person wellness throughout each day. Just as a monogram is unique to that individual, our programming is based on each individual resident and is focused on the dimensions of wellness. 

While our Memory Care Director and Wise and Well leader are tasked with group programs, it is every associate’s job to ensure residents are provided appropriate opportunities to have purpose. This is accomplished with the Montessori approach to programming. The Montessori approach focuses on what a resident CAN do and provides those opportunities throughout the day based on when the resident wants and needs to be purposeful and active. This approach, when done well, has been proven to significantly reduce falls, reduce use of call bells, reduce psychotropic drug use plus it makes everyone in the memory care neighborhood happier.

The key components of Montessori-based programming for older adults include:

Prepared Environment

The prepared environment is designed to facilitate maximum independence and exploration by all members of the community. Hands-on adult activities and materials are accessible to elders twenty-four hours a day. The community is considered their home, and every effort is made to remove staff supplies and medical equipment from the community spaces. 

Freedom of Movement

Older adults choose where to sit and what to work on, with guidance or assistance as needed from trained care partners. They are encouraged to move about the environment rather than remaining seated or in one place all day. This helps elders to maintain balance, fine and gross motor skills, and overall healthy functioning of the body’s systems. 

Hands-On Activity

Older adults work with both specially-designed materials and everyday household items. Activities are hands-on and often involve movement and sensory stimulation. Each activity has multiple purposes. These may include strengthening gross or fine motor skills, maintaining hand-eye coordination, developing sustained attention
on a task, or providing sensory stimulation.

Intrinsic Motivation

Humans are born with an intrinsic desire to explore and learn. Rather than focusing on keeping elders ‘busy’, the prepared environment provides opportunities for choice, independence, and meaningful engagement. When older adults are free to follow their interests and meet their own needs, they feel fulfilled rather than bored. 


Montessori philosophy observes that after a period of intense concentration, working with materials that fully engage their interest, individuals are not exhausted but emerge refreshed and contented. So caregivers do not interrupt their concentration when engaged in meaningful activity and only offer assistance when it is needed.


A Montessori-prepared environment is set up to facilitate maximum independence for elders. Care partners invite elders to engage in daily tasks (either independently or in partnership) rather than completing these tasks for them.

Mixed Abilities of Individuals

Older adults of different abilities work together, form friendships, and help each other in a supportive community. Peer collaboration is encouraged; they share their strengths with others who need more support in those areas. 

Key components source: Montessori Developmental Principles to Support the Needs of the Elderly, AMI Journal 2020

Memory CareWSL Approach to Care