AgeCare’s vision to provide exceptional care for residents with dementia has been a three-year labour of love, and today it is a vital part of our operations, with more training and innovations on the way.
“More than 75 percent of our residents have some form of cognitive decline,” said Marilyn Willison-Leach, AgeCare Senior Vice President, Operations – Clinical Services. “Our vision is to ensure those living with dementia are enjoying the best quality of life possible, and that they are seen and appreciated for who they are.”
AgeCare Dementia care initiatives currently include a myriad of calm and peaceful environments as well as themed spaces such as workshops, a nursery, and a homemaking area, to spark connections with the residents’ hobbies and past experiences. There are also multi-sensory rooms that are relaxing spaces with activities and tools to help reduce anxiety and agitation. Residents who spend time in these areas are often seen engaging with their surroundings and showing joy.
Staff who are passionate about dementia care are offered the unique opportunity to enroll in a five-month training program called ‘AgeCare Moments.’
“The program is based on best practices and leading-edge dementia research and resources from around the world,” said Jennifer Grusing, Director Education Services. “Along with exploring the physiology of dementia, participants are taught ways to build relationships with residents and family members, communicate effectively with individuals living with dementia, and to create engaging and vibrant communities every day.”
To date, over 450 staff who care for and support residents living with dementia have graduated from the program.
As a perfect extension of this concept, AgeCare has rolled out a program called Moments that Matter inviting staff to recognize and share the small moments the small moments between residents, family, staff and volunteers that have a meaningful impact.
The dream to be a leader in dementia care … to be continued.