This Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week, we’re celebrating our frontline team, their resident-centered care, and the exceptional quality of life they’re able to provide for memory care residents at Grand Oaks.
Ultimately, as a family member or loved one of someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you want to know your loved ones are cared for properly, their health needs are met, they are engaged, and their quality of life maintained or improved.
The Oasis Neighborhood of Grand Oaks is a comfortable, home-like setting for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related disorders. A full team of highly-trained nurses is available 24 hours a day to your loved one, helping to care for their routine and personal needs—from medication monitoring and daily hygiene to behavior monitoring and hands-on assistance as needed.
Connecting with the person, not their condition is the goal, says Monique Bonds, RN-BC, Oasis Neighborhood coordinator (pictured above). The Oasis Neighborhood believes that as caregivers, they are part of each resident’s journey.
“I feel like I have 34 grandparents,” Monique says of the close bonds she’s formed with many residents here.
The team’s approach can be summed up in three words: invite, encourage, assist. Monique and team provide ways for residents to access healthcare, stay connected and socialize through daily and weekly activities, and more. For people with dementia, quality of life depends on the quality of the relationships they have with their direct care staff and others in their social environment.
For Alzheimer’s disease and dementia residents, every day is different, and that can be difficult for family members and loved ones. However, Grand Oaks team members have the training and education to know best practices and evidence-based guidelines for how to best serve them. They learn as much as possible about residents and their abilities and needs.
Grand Oaks’ team attends ongoing monthly trainings, discussing the distinctive stages of dementia as it relates to resident care, and formal annual training. This empowers them to tailor their care to the needs of each resident. They collaborate with families and other caregivers who regularly interact with residents, too.
For challenging or inappropriate behaviors often associated with memory-related disorders, like aggression or mood and sleep disturbances, for example, the team is trained in the Alzheimer’s Association’s CARES dementia program. Developed In partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, with input from a national team of experts, CARES promotes person-centered care and compassionate caregiving.
CARES stands for:
- Connect with the person
- Assess their behavior
- Respond appropriately
- Evaluate what works
- Share with others
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.
It provides the core information needed to provide superior dementia care, including person-centered care, the basics of Alzheimer’s and dementia and the changes of thinking skills as the disease progresses, how these changes impact behavior, understanding behavior as communication, and the CARES approach.
Our team is trained to adapt to each resident’s current reality. They are compassionate listeners and believe in “going with the flow”—you have to learn to go with the ebb and flows of someone experiencing cognitive impairment, Monique says. Our team acknowledges and accepts each resident’s experience and know how to address the unique challenges faced by residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Outside of Grand Oaks, training is also available for family and caregivers, like Sibley Senior Association’s annual Journey to Hope D.C. Conference & Expo for Alzheimer’s Family Care Partners. Here, caregivers of loved ones with memory loss can learn important tips to improve caregiver connections while learning to take care of their unique needs and concerns, too. Training includes current treatments and new approaches, stress management and self-care, and practical tips for navigating caregiving.