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Another Way JCHE is Learning to Support Our Residents

Posted: June 17, 2013

As you may have read in a previous blog post, JCHE is the recipient of the prestigious LeadingAge Innovation Fund grant – one of only four awarded in the country out of over 120 submissions.  The money is going to great use!  A group of nine staff members have become the Memory Support Team and have been trained by the Alzheimer’s Association of MA and NH in Habilitation Therapy, a model that has been used in nursing homes and assisted living communities.  This team will train the rest of the JCHE staff (all departments) in the modules of the training appropriate for their level of interaction with the residents. 

Some staff will receive the basic training about understanding Alzheimer’s and other dementias, understanding the most effective ways to communicate with someone with memory impairment, and how the behavior of someone with dementia is often their way of communicating, while other staff members will go through the entire thirteen hour course of study.

The training is scheduled over the summer and early fall, with the explicit goal of testing the Habilitation Therapy Model in independent housing, identifying where the training needs to shift for this setting, and producing a “how to” guide for using the new model in settings around the country like JCHE.

We are especially pleased that our partners on this project, the Alzheimer’s Association of MA and NH and UMASS Gerontology Institute will work closely with the Memory Support Team as we discover the similarities and differences of using the Habilitation Therapy model in nursing homes, assisted living communities and independent senior housing.

In addition, JCHE has brought onboard a new resident services coordinator, Julia Kingsley, with a focus on dementia to serve as a member of the Memory Support Team and as a resource to JCHE.

LeadingAge chose the right group for this grant!  JCHE staff is dedicated, knowledgeable, and eager to learn new and improved ways to support our residents.  Stay tuned for periodic updates!

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