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Alzheimer's / dementia care

Memory care at the Bruce McCandless State Veterans Home in Florence




The Bruce McCandless State Veterans Home in Florence offers a 20-bed secure environment known as the Four Seasons Trail neighborhood. In this neighborhood we offer:


  • Semi-private, recently updated rooms with have large windows, new flooring and individual temperature controls;

  • Bright, sunny living and dining rooms that help provide a pleasant environment for our elders;

  • A spacious and beautifully manicured secured courtyard that allows for safe access to fresh air and sunshine; and

  • A nurses’ station located within the secure neighborhood that provides residents direct access to their caregivers.


Specialized care and services


We are accustomed to assessing the abilities and interests of residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Based on information about each resident, we design and customize activities to meet their needs. This includes a strong family support group that meets once a month and a team of professionals, including our pharmacist, nursing and social services staff and a contract psychiatrist, who routinely meet to properly manage medications for residents and to allow those living in our Home to remain as alert yet calm as possible.


As a forward-thinking nursing home, we were the first state veterans home in the United States to be added to The Eden Alternative registry. Following principles of The Eden Alternative, a leading organization in long-term-care culture change, we do our best to eliminate residents’ feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and boredom. This begins before or upon admission, when we gather information about each resident’s routine, preferences and dislikes. We also seek input from residents and families on individual meal choices, activities, outings, etc. With all of this information, we work to provide care that is consistent with our elders’ choices.





Staff assignments and training are focused on meeting the unique needs of memory care residents. For example, special dementia training is provided to staff across all disciplines. Also, consistent staffing enables residents and staff to get to know each other more quickly, which can increase the elder’s comfort in our Home.


Also, activities staff are assigned specifically to Four Seasons Trail neighborhood, enabling them to tailor activities to the needs and preferences of memory-care residents.


Admission criteria


Our secure environment may be appropriate for individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, have unsafe wandering behavior and are considered a danger to themselves or others. They may not understand the need to live in our Home and may wander away or voice or exhibit the intent to leave. They also may not do well in large group settings.


As with other services offered by the Bruce McCandless State Veterans Home at Florence, residents must be honorably discharged veterans, veterans’ spouses or “Gold-Star Parents,” any of whose children died while serving in the Armed Forces.