Memory Care Support has offered professional services to families, health care facilities, senior living developers and management groups, and an array of others seeking timely, sensible and cost-effective solutions to challenges that impact the quality of life of individuals and the bottom line of businesses daily.
Here are a sampling of case studies involving our clients and the successful outcome provided by Memory Care Support’s proven approach to dementia care.
CASE STUDY #1
Client – Public Hospital
Task – Improving Emergency Services for People Affected by Dementia
When people affected by dementia are admitted to a hospital, the outcomes are often less than optimal, frequently resulting in additional debilitation such as weight loss, development of pressure ulcers, use of excessive medication, and increased confusion. These conditions can cause longer hospital stays and repeated readmissions, increasing costs to the hospital and stress to the person affected by dementia. When a major California hospital in South Orange County, recognized that their emergency room staff was unprepared to provide adequate triage and care for patients with dementia who came through their doors, Anne developed a plan to strengthen the ER team’s skills in order to improve care to their dementia patients.
Anne observed that while the ER staff necessarily focused on the crises that brought patients to the hospital such as injury from falls, pneumonia or other infections, the underlying dementia that may have caused or contributed to the crisis in the first place was unrecognized. Working with the team, Anne realized they were not adequately trained on how to recognize and care for people living with dementia. Consequently, she set up a series of customized presentations for the ER staff, which included both physicians and nurses.
These interactive educational programs required that the staff participate in virtual dementia experiences to learn how a person with dementia might perceive the actions of the ER staff. The team also received training on how to screen for dementia so this important condition could be recognized and supportive discharge plans put in place from the beginning of the patient’s hospital stay. Anne also trained the staff in communication techniques so they could improve connections with dementia patients.
Staff members who completed Anne’s workshops on dementia care expressed greater confidence in dealing with dementia patients. The following year, the ER measured improved outcomes for this important patient group.
CASE STUDY #2
Client – Assisted Living Provider
Task – Upgrading Memory Care in Assisted Living
A large assisted living provider of dementia care realized that they needed to implement unique staffing models and improved training standards to bring their dementia care up to the level of excellence they desired to establish for their entire company. They designated a group of seven of their dementia care residences as a laboratory to initiate and trial the needed changes.
They contracted Anne, who completed site visits to all the dementia care residences and reviewed protocols, training requirements, staffing models and the physical environments.
Anne and the team observed that the dementia care units had not received the upgrades and remodels that had improved conditions in the general assisted living facilities. She suggested that they review and recommend specific dementia-friendly environmental changes that would enhance quality of care for those residents. She also recommended additional training on dementia-appropriate engagement programs for the activity staff and care staff.
Weekly conference calls with leadership to discuss changes and review new training modules were scheduled. Pets were introduced to be part of a more home-like environment and residents began to initiate care and walking of their dogs. All engagements were reviewed to improve person-centered activities. Training with staff about resident rights and dignity was implemented and the leadership team was empowered to “think outside the box” to develop stimulating activities and also to reward their staff for delivering improved care. With renewed focus on the standards of care, the team was able to offer care that maximized independence and dignity for their residents affected by dementia.
CASE STUDY #3
Client – Investor
Task – On-site evaluation and direction to ensure quality operations.
Challenge – New investors purchased several large stand-alone assisted living memory care communities, located in several states. The investors were new to operating memory care and were unsure of the quality of their staff, programming and the environment. They requested that Memory Care Support, LLC complete an on-site evaluation and provide direction for “next-steps” to ensure quality operations.
Anne visited each of the memory care communities and completed an evaluation of leadership, staff, training, marketing materials and nearby competitors.
A detailed report was delivered that outlined strengths and priorities for bringing these memory care communities up to acceptable standards of care, as well as strategies to support them to achieve a level of excellence.
Initial priorities included:
- Mentoring of Executive Directors on standards of care
- Clearing any regulatory deficiencies
- Defining the role of the nurse within their memory care communities and develop systems to document care
- Focus on programming within the communities
Quality of care was stabilized and all regulatory deficiencies were cleared. Executive Directors and nurses expanded their leadership roles and staff was held accountable for quality of care. Systems were put in place for documentation and continued quality improvement.
New standards were established for resident engagement and on-site and webinar training continue to support the communities toward excellence.