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Dementia Disease Care

Dementia Disease Care

To address the overwhelming needs of community members that are suffering from difficult care problems and complex secondary symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, Our Lady of Consolation developed a Special Care Dementia Community that follows a psychosocial model of caring for residents. It is a forty-bed secured community, consisting of private and semi-private rooms. All rooms are furnished with dressers, end tables, electric hospital beds, and bathrooms. There are three shower rooms for the residents’ convenience. Televisions and telephones are also available if family members and/or residents prefer.

The physical environment of the community has been modified to create a comfortable, less clinical atmosphere. The corridor hallways have been painted in two different colors and with murals to depict neighborhood streets, complete with trees, flowers, lampposts, wrought iron fences, and street signs: Main Street and Elm Street.

The names of the streets were specifically chosen because people suffering from Dementia have difficulty retaining new information and language skills, therefore the names of the street have no more than four letters. Most of the residents are able to read the signs, promoting a positive self image and experience. In addition, the names of the streets: Main Street and Elm Street are familiar to most people, which creates a more comfortable, less frightening environment.

The day room/dining room, is painted with a very tranquil park scene mural. This room is used for dining, as well as therapeutic activities. Curtains, park benches, a kitchen table and chairs, and a mural of a kitchen cabinet aid in the enhancement of a homey, familiar touch to dining and recreation. There is an activity schedule in the day room, in addition to an orientation board, so residents and their families can see or ask questions regarding what and when the next activity will begin.

The community is also equipped with an active lounge which provides activities for residents to participate with both staff and family members. The quiet lounge is used for residents who do not feel they are able to participate in group activities, and want/ need to have one-on-one activities or interventions to support or re-direct behavior. Family members visiting residents can choose to visit in the quiet lounge if they do not want to participate with the resident in activities.

The goal of the Special Care Dementia Community is to maintain the resident’s present level of functioning through cognitive, physical, and social stimulation; in hopes of having a fuller, more independent quality of life. Each resident’s cognitive abilities, functional status, and Activities of Daily Living are monitored monthly for the first 90 days, then on a quarterly basis. The resident’s cognitive abilities are monitored through a Mini Mental Status Exam; functional status is calculated through daily via participation in Therapeutic Recreational Programs; and an ADL maintenance of each resident.

The staff was selected and trained specifically for this community. The emphasis on a team approach is stressed throughout the community. All Housekeeping staff, Recreational Therapists, Nurses, and the Social Workers have experience working with Dementia.

Family involvement is very important to the success of this community. Because the residents recall their past more readily than the present, their family members provide the resident with a sense of self or being. Families are invited to participate in any or all programs on or off the community. Family members are always welcome to meet with their loved one's interdisciplinary team.