Alzheimer’s industry leader Amelia Schafer joins Ascent Living Communities as Area Director of Memory Care
DENVER – Ascent Living Communities announced today the addition of Amelia Schafer as Area Director of Memory Care. A gerontology expert with 20-years of experience working across a wide range of Alzheimer’s and dementia education, program development, care and service delivery, Schafer will oversee the implementation of proactive resident care programs ranging from mild cognitive impairment with assisted living residents, to comprehensive memory care operations across Ascent’s four Colorado senior living communities.
Throughout her two decades of work with the Alzheimer’s Association, Schafer led the professional education division, including the development of the Alzheimer’s Learning Institute, a certificate program for health professionals, as well as the expansion of the Colorado programming department into the top 10% of Alzheimer’s Association chapters nationwide. Most recently, Schafer served as the executive director and region lead for Colorado, as well as the association’s senior director for growth and engagement focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Amelia is an extraordinary addition to our Ascent Living team that will help catapult us to a leading position in the delivery of cognitive and memory-based care,” said ALC Co-Founder and Principal, Susie Finley. “She brings an exceptional and well-earned reputation in our market and is recognized by many as one of the pioneers in memory care.
Amelia Schafer named Area Director of Memory Care for Ascent Living Communities
Schafer, who discovered her initial love of helping older adults during her early college days, made a commitment to learning and has dedicated her entire life to the study of gerontology and improving the lives of countless older adults and their families.
“I remember having to reintroduce myself over and over to my older, nextdoor neighbor when I was in college,” said Schafer recalling her initial exposure to dementia and Alzheimer’s before they were household terms. “I was just trying to help someone out who didn’t have family nearby and needed someone to look out for them. That experience really struck a chord with me. I took some college courses and learned more and immediately knew that this profession was where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life.”
After a comprehensive Alzheimer’s Association career, Schafer has turned her personal spotlight on a return to the passion in her heart. Looking to take her next professional step, Schafer prioritized finding a mission-based organization committed to helping not only the individual, but the spouses, family and community as a whole.
“I’m now at a point in my career to fully return to the education, training and program development and implementation that literally changes people’s lives for the better,” said Schafer. “That’s what has drawn me to Ascent. They have that reputation in our community, in our state, in this industry. They have the foundation of programming and the physical environment to succeed and now we’re committed to taking the next step in the delivery of this specialized care model together.
“Unfortunately, memory care can be an afterthought in way too many of our communities,” added Schafer. “For Susie and Tom and the rest of their Ascent team, it’s not an afterthought. They’re laser focused on delivering vibrant, purposeful living communities with results-oriented programs for their residents and resident families as well.”
With three Alzheimer’s drug treatments that help slow the progression of the disease recently approved by the FDA, many in the industry now anticipate the need to further expand upon the resources and programs being offered to people who will likely be living longer, higher quality lives that may include various stages of cognitive impairment and memory loss for longer periods of time.
Evaluating that scenario and its long-term goals, Susie Finley and her leadership team, which includes Co-Founder and Principal Tom Finley, created the memory care director position to help stay ahead of the game.
“We need to always be looking forward at the care models, the resources we have and how those align with the values we have as a company,” said Tom Finley. “We know that Amelia’s knowledge, experience and vision will allow us to fully develop and implement scientifically-based, creative programs and resources unlike anything currently offered in our state to help residents with cognitive challenges, whether that’s in our assisted living or our memory care, to be happy and successful in our communities,” added Finley. “Amelia is a leader who will help us all define what’s next in cognitive and memory care and deliver that environment and those sought after resources.”
For Schafer, she is eager and excited to take everything she has learned throughout her career and fully focus on improving people’s lives, just like she did for her neighbor back in college.
About Ascent Living Communities
Ascent Living Communities (ALC) is a Colorado-based senior living owner and operator with a focus on the comfort, wellbeing, and desire for independent living and a full life for its residents. ALC communities are comprised of a comprehensive team of experienced and highly respected healthcare and life enrichment professionals, as well as award-winning culinary staffs and business professionals.
ALC’s senior living communities transform high hospitality into warm, inviting places to call home. Its founders’ 40-plus years of combined professional backgrounds serve as a strong foundation from which to build on and improve the lives of seniors and their families by combining their expertise in senior living and personal experience as family members to cultivate senior living communities that instill trust, confidence, and comfort.
For more information on Ascent Living Communities visit: https://www.ascentlc.com/