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Life Enrichment Coordinator Sparks Joy and Connection
for Individuals with Memory Care Challenges at Kempton of Charleston

June 24, 2024

Peyton Wheeler’s days are full of fun, interesting and engaging activities. Thus, so are those of the residents she serves at Kempton of Charleston, a premier senior living community in Charleston, South Carolina.

Wheeler is the life enrichment coordinator in memory care at the community, which, in addition to serving those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, offers assisted living, respite, rehabilitation and skilled nursing. Lindsay French, executive director of Kempton of Charleston, says Wheeler, 24, who has a degree in recreational therapy from Clemson University, understands the complexities and specific needs of residents living with memory issues.

Having a trained person on staff who dedicates all her time to memory care is one way in which Kempton of Charleston stands out from other communities. “You need someone who understands the disease progression and who is able to engage with residents at various levels,” French says.

“She understands the various domains of wellness,” French says. “She doesn’t just follow a calendar of activities. She creates activities that engage residents.”

The domains of wellness are crucial to promoting residents’ overall well-being and include emotional, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and purposeful living.

Wheeler plans daily group activities –two in the morning and two in the afternoon—to help residents grow in all of these areas that enrich their lives.

“Even though they have limitations, people with memory issues are still people inside, and they want to do things that make them happy –that make them want to keep living,” Wheeler says.

Her own experience of caring for a loved one with challenges caused by illness prompted her desire to work with people with memory issues.

“My grandfather had a stroke, and he lived at home for seven years,” she says. “So I did all kinds of activities with him. We’d play music, and my sister and I would dance, and he’d laugh. We’d tell him stories and read to him.”

With that experience under her belt, Wheeler applies the same loving care she provided for her grandfather to her work at Kempton of Charleston.

“This morning, we painted lighthouses,” says Wheeler about a recent day’s activities. “This afternoon, we’ll play corn hole and then do devotionals. I try to change the activities up, so I hit all of those areas that contribute to well-being.”

She also adapts the activities to each resident’s interests and abilities. For example, while playing a game of golf, she helped a resident with physical limitations hold the golf club. “That worked perfectly, and she was so happy,” says Wheeler about the effort.

Wheeler encourages but doesn’t push residents to participate in activities if they are tired or don’t want to. She will approach them another time with another activity that may interest them or meet with them one-on-one.

Once a week, on Fridays, the residents go on a van and drive around Charleston for an hour, taking in the sights and sounds. “They love it,” she says. “They look at the buildings, gardens and the horses pulling carriages and say, ‘Oh. Look at the horses. Aren’t they beautiful?’”

She also spends time every day working one-on-one with residents. They go for a walk in the community, do a puzzle, watch a T.V. show or just talk. “Just hanging out and talking with someone is fun,” she says. “They like getting to hang out with a young person.”

Wheeler says she sees the memory care residents, who range in age from 57 to 100, feeling enlivened by the one-to-one attention she offers them and by the range of enriching group activities that they take part in on a daily basis. She sees their smiles; their eyes brighten with interest, and they take livelier steps in their walks. “They’re more energetic,” she says. “It makes them feel happy.”

Kempton of Charleston

Kempton of Charleston is nestled amid the charming environs of Charleston, South Carolina. The city named by online financial firm WalletHub as the top place to retire in the U.S. The community has range of amenities under one roof, and close to Charleston’s many cultural offerings, dining and shopping. The Kempton offers premier assisted living, memory care, respite care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing.

Kempton of Charleston is owned and operated by Liberty Senior Living, LLC, a division of Liberty Healthcare Management.Liberty HC Management specializes in senior living and retirement communities. To learn more about Kempton of Charleston visit To learn more about Liberty Senior Living and the communities they offer, please visit

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Kempton of Charleston

194 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403