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August 2, 2021

Creating Memories Through Memory Care at The Courtyard

“I know it is the best possible place he could be.”

— Michele Kikuchi-Richards


In 2017, Michele Kikuchi-Richards recognized that her father David’s dementia had advanced to a stage where he needed more care and attention. “We had arranged for in-home care, but the isolation was not helping” she says. “That’s when we started looking around.”

Within MonteCedro, there is a special place called The Courtyard. Seniors enjoy personalized, assisted living in Pasadena, designed specifically for people who are facing memory issues brought on by dementia and Alzheimer’s.

When Michele first visited, she was initially struck by the beauty of the community. “Dad was an architect, so the gardens and the architecture felt right,” she says. But more than anything, it was the people who impressed her. “I noticed how caregivers interact with the residents, and the level of care they provide.”

The socialization and engagement had an immediate and positive effect on her father. No longer isolated from others, his whole quality of life improved. For the family, it was a huge relief.

Before David moved in, the specialist caregivers at MonteCedro created a personalized plan for him. They asked Michele and her family for David’s life story including a list of things he likes, special memories, and photographs. This Life Story helps the team relate to each new resident on a personal level. “They really went the extra mile,” Michele says.

When David arrived, the caregivers had a set of architectural building blocks waiting for him, which David took to immediately. Knowing his love of music and singing, within a short time, David was being escorted to live concerts in the auditorium. Eventually, he and another Memory Care resident were invited to join the MonteCedro Choir. “He is really part of the entire community now,” Michelle says. “It has brought us such peace of mind.”

She describes the environment like a family and there is great communication. “Every month we meet with his professional caregivers,” Michele says. “With COVID, it moved from in-person meetings to Zoom but the families of the residents all get to know each other.”

For those whose parents may be facing memory care challenges, Michele has some advice. “Focus on the care,” she says. “Are there activities, is there stimulation and socialization?”

The decision to move Michele’s father to MonteCedro was driven by the quality of staff, the level of care, and their sincere concern, dedication, and friendliness. “You can tell the difference when people really care,” Michelle says, “I know it is the best possible place he could be.”

ECS communities have long been recognized as places where active seniors living in Pasadena come to continue their journey of a life well lived. Our Life Plan philosophy means that as our residents’ needs evolve, so do their options, ensuring a continuum of social engagement, activities and optimum health.

When it’s time to consider the next stage for your loved one, contact us. We’d be honored to show you around.

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