Angie Frantz headshot
Angie Frantz

I recently had the honor of attending the Alzheimer’s Disease International 2022 Global Conference in London, where I presented about a memory care initiative that we’ve been rolling out across Prestige Care’s family of memory care communities called “I Am a Person with Dementia.”

When individuals living with memory decline require care from others who may not be familiar with them or their cognitive condition — such as first responders or hospital staff members — it can be difficult to recognize and navigate communication or behavioral challenges.

Prestige’s “I Am a Person with Dementia” initiative uses a fact sheet to help caregivers better understand how to assist someone living with dementia. The fact sheet outlines personal information unique to the life story of the individual, as well as overarching educational information on dementia and other memory-based illnesses. The form is designed to be given to first responders and hospital personnel so that they may be informed on the best ways to approach individuals living with dementia.

According to my colleague, Maggie Beiniewski, an Expressions director at one of our Prestige Senior Living communities: “When residents have to leave the community, we communicate their needs to first responders and other medical personnel. Sharing this information was particularly important with one of our residents who struggled with completing sessions at dialysis where technicians are constantly rotated. As they go from one medical attendant to another, that information can get lost. The ‘I Am a Person with Dementia’ flyer helps ensure that all personnel who tend to our residents understand who they are and provides them with information and tools to help our residents during stressful times.”

Presenting this initiative at the bi-annual ADI Global Conference was something I never would have expected to do in my lifetime. The conference draws more than 1,200 memory care advocates representing 120 countries, including people living with dementia, caregivers, staff members and volunteers of Alzheimer’s and dementia-related associations, researchers, healthcare professionals and more. 

It was an incredible opportunity to come together — in-person and virtually — to discuss new knowledge, research and ideas to ultimately improve the lives of people living with dementia and their families. I’m grateful that I was able to speak on something that has become meaningful to our organization and the hundreds of memory care residents and families we serve.

The “I Am a Person with Dementia” initiative was created through Prestige’s award-winning Expressions Memory Care Program. Expressions is an integral part of every Prestige community’s approach to memory care and is focused on turning daily experiences into memorable activities through taste, education, art, health and spirituality. The program incorporates the latest research and information on dementia care, and Prestige aligns itself with Alzheimer’s disease experts to continually offer innovative techniques and approaches to care. The program is based on the philosophy that everyone engages in activities every day — sometimes planned or spontaneous, simple or elaborate. Activities in memory care should have the same flavor with the intent of nurturing body, heart, soul and mind.

As the product manager for Expressions, I’ve seen firsthand how the “I Am a Person with Dementia” initiative has proven extremely successful throughout our senior living communities with memory care programs. The tool has helped build empathy and understanding to better treat those living with cognitive decline. Our ultimate goal is to see the tool replicated by other communities and companies to help residents facing cognitive decline.

For more information on Prestige Care, Prestige Senior Living and the “I Am a Person with Dementia” initiative, visit

Angie Frantz is product manager of Prestige Care’s Expressions memory care program.

The opinions expressed in each McKnight’s Senior Living guest column are those of the author and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Senior Living.

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