The rehabilitation team at Green Valley Care Center in New Albany, Indiana, recently earned certifications as dementia specialists.
“Caring for our residents with dementia requires specific training in order to meet their needs and maximize their quality of life,” shared Mark Fuhrman, director of rehab services at the facility. “Green Valley Care Center’s memory care unit is one of the largest in the area, and in our effort to be the best, we focused our training to reach that goal.”
Eight therapists in three disciplines (physical, occupational and speech therapies) took part in a continuing education course, Dementia Capable Care, on July 17. The training focused on shifting caregivers’ perspective from these patients’ deficits to their abilities.
“Rather than focusing on what our residents have lost (short-term memory, ability to independently care for themselves), we change our focus to what they can do (walk, feed themselves, perform parts of tasks with cues),” Fuhrman added.
Each memory care unit resident is staged in a category of abilities based on a thorough assessment of their cognitive and problem-solving abilities using the Allen Cognitive Level screening.
“If you pass by our memory care unit, you may notice that each of our resident’s shadow boxes has a butterfly with a different color,” Fuhrman said. “These butterflies are an indication to our employees of these different ability levels so that we know the best approach to care for our residents. We look forward to continuing to implement this way of thinking and problem solving to highlight the abilities of all of our residents.”