Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Trained Staff See Great Response to Programs

Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Trained Staff See Great Response to Programs

Caring Place Healthcare Group offers Alzheimer’s Care at five of their locations. There are four locations in Cincinnati: Sanctuary Pointe Nursing & Rehab Center, Glendale Place Nursing & Rehab Center, The Lodge Nursing & Rehab Center and Western Hills Nursing & Rehab Center. In  addition, there is one located in Dayton/Kettering: Oak Creek Terrace Nursing & Rehab Center.

Caring Place Healthcare Group is family owned and operated with over 40 years experience in caring for seniors. Their reputation is well-known throughout the communities they serve.

The Alzheimer’s Units, known as Shelter Pointe, is a self-contained unit that provides for all stages of dementia. Recognizing that the traditional nursing home setting is not well-suited for the Alzheimer’s resident, they developed a warm, home-like environment to enhance the quality of life. This allows the residents to maintain some freedom within a safe and secure care setting.

Kim Lewis, Activity Director at The Lodge Nursing & Rehab, is a familiar face with over 17 years experience. She specializes in developing and implementing programs that have proven benefits for dementia patients such as the Music & Memory® Care Program which uses iPods to help calm and soothe residents. She also implements a restorative exercise program, which helps to maintain the highest levels of functioning and daily small group activities such as- an art program and pet therapy visits.

At Oak Creek Terrace Nursing, Rehab & Assisted Living in Kettering, Ohio, Marcia Cooper- Activity Director highlighted some of the programs they offer on a regular basis to their dementia residents:

  • Aroma therapy with warm towels, lotions, and hand massages
  • Certified Music & Memory® iPod Program
  • Therapeutic Arts/Crafts
  • Cooking i.e. cookies, bread, puddings
  • Gross Motor Skills- weights, textures, ball toss, parachute, octopus, balloon volleyball

“I’ve been the Activity Director for almost 19 years at Oak Creek”, Marcia added.  “The residents respond well to all the various sensory skills we engage them in. Sometimes memories are trigged which provokes a conversation. When we offer the scented lotions with warm towels and hand massages, some residents inhale the scent, reacting verbally and physically by relaxing and/or talking about how wonderful the experience is. Some even fall asleep! We  also use a diffuser during this activity. Music and Memory is always a hit and residents respond to music, singing and movement,” Marcia explained.

At Sanctuary Pointe, daily activities are offered daily. “Music entertainment is offered regularly and I really see a difference in how much more alert and aware they are. For example, one of our residents, who can barely speak, becomes animated and starts singing all the words to her favorite songs. They may come out sounding a bit jumbled, but she knows exactly what she is singing and we are able to catch bits and pieces of it as well,” said Debbie Halusek, Activities Director.

Western Hills Retirement Village and Nursing/Rehab Center is a certified Music & Memory® Community and stimulating programs are regularly offered to the dementia residents.

Glendale Place Nursing & Rehab activity director, Darlene Bryant comes with 35 years of long term care experience and has been with Glendale Place for ten years. She enjoys creating new activities based on resident needs and desires.

Even our independent and assisted living facility, The Lodge Retirement Community in Symmes Township, Ohio, offers activities catered to residents with memory loss. They have many residents who are able to live somewhat independently despite having some form of dementia. Tawnya Sullivan, Administrator, describes their programs, “we offer ten different activities per day that are open to all residents and several are mentally stimulating and geared toward the dementia residents; including activities such as: Mind Games, Let’s Have Fun and Trivia.  Diana Jarvis, Activity Director, has been in the position for ten years and regularly attends in-service training to maintain stimulating activities.

Sanctuary Pointe and Glendale Place recently received a grant for the Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program. Our staff learn how to implement and evaluate evidence-based intergenerational visual art programs for people with dementia. Opening Minds through Art (OMA) was developed by Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio. All of the Caring Place Healthcare Group locations strive to maintain ongoing training for their staff and particularly those involved in the lives of residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

The CARES® Dementia Specialist program, a two year certification in dementia care, is another specialized training offered to the staff. It provides caregivers with the core or “basic” information needed for dementia care. It focuses on person-centered care, the changes that happen to thinking skills as dementia progresses, how those changes impact behavior, and how to understand behavior as communication.

CARES® was developed with the Alzheimer’s Association, with input from a national team of experts. CARES content incorporates evidence-based strategies from the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations that have been supported by more than 30 leading health and senior care organizations.