Seniors & Aging

This Bellingham facility provides the care and support loved ones with dementia need

Resident Eleanor Flanders-Creek and senior administrator Laura Printy chat in one of the many dining rooms at Silverado – Bellingham.
Resident Eleanor Flanders-Creek and senior administrator Laura Printy chat in one of the many dining rooms at Silverado – Bellingham. For The Bellingham Herald

Carrolin Kulpaca, who describes herself as “79 and holding,” has called Silverado–Bellingham home since April 2018.

Kulpaca and her family specifically chose Silverado because she was struggling to find the right medication to treat her Lewy Body Dementia and was suffering from hallucinations. At Silverado-Bellingham, Kulpaca said she is supported through her disease and “loves” it there.

But there is more to her affinity for her new home than medication regulation. Kulpaca “loves” the people, the accommodations and the diverse activities.

“(I like) having a roommate,” Kulpaca said. “I’ve made a new friend, and it is reassuring knowing she is there and I am there for her. I’m amazed that housekeeping comes and cleans my room daily and I don’t have to do it.”

Some of her favorite pastimes are trivia and cognitive games.

There are musical entertainers almost every day, she said. And, just having the ability to walk into a beautiful courtyard in the middle of the community and see all of the gorgeous flowers is a treat.

Silverado – Bellingham, at 4400 Columbine Drive, specializes in memory care.

“We are a specialized memory care community, built from the ground up to serve and support those with memory impairment,” said Laura Printy, senior administrator. “We offer long-term care, respite care and flex care (adult day program).”

The Mayo Clinic takes a look at new developments in Alzheimer's research, giving new ways to diagnose and treat the illness earlier.

Silverado has an “amazing program” for earlier stage dementia called Nexus, Printy said. The Nexus program is an evidenced-based engagement program that has been shown to potentially slow the progression of dementia symptoms. The program consists of 20 hours per week of specialized programming along with individualized assessments.

It includes physical exercise, stress reduction programs (such as meditation, yoga and tai chi), cognitive exercises, specialized digital programs, purposeful social activities and support groups for those with memory impairment.

Silverado–Bellingham is a licensed assisted-living community for 80 residents. All residents need assistance with a variety of needs, from very early stage of dementia to end-stage dementia, Printy said.

Those who currently reside in the community range from age 55 to 99.

Group activities have included a trip to the Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, a chili cook-off and yoga classes.