The Colorado State Veterans Center at Homelake does not have a separate, secure memory care area. However, for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia who do not require a secure unit, Homelake provides care designed to meet their individual needs.
Residents throughout the nursing home can receive many types of memory care services:
We offer a 1:1 program for individuals who are isolated in some way, either because of their own withdrawal or for physical or cognitive reasons. Through this program, we visit with these residents individually at least three times a week for 30 to 60 minutes. Depending on individual needs and preferences, we may them for walks, play games on the Wii machine, play cards or checkers, spend time in the garden or just sit with a cup of coffee in our outdoor morning espresso bar, providing a great time to enjoy coffee and fresh baked goods.
Our sensory program is designed for residents who are not able to speak or participate in activities physically, mentally, or cognitively on their own. Offered at least three times a week, the program targets three or more of the five senses. Individual and group activities may include hand massages, aroma therapy, cooking classes, petting a dog, outside walks, listening to music and tasting different foods.
Several members of our nursing staff have participated in validation therapy, which promotes hearing, acknowledging and respecting the person’s opinions, values and beliefs and avoids confrontation or correcting the person.
Homelake works to make bathing a positive activity for residents with dementia. Assigned bath aid staff members provide bathing that is consistent with individual residents’ needs and wants. Techniques are based on “Bathing without a Battle” principles. Depending on what works best with individual residents, approaches can include using a basin of water, no-rinse soap or body wipes. Bathing also can be done while the resident is sitting in a chair or lying in bed. Singing or engaging in conversation also can calm residents during the process, and bathing can be stopped altogether if the individual becomes uncomfortable or wants to reschedule.
A wander monitoring system allows staff, through a computer system, to know where residents are throughout the Home. In the event a resident is near an exit, the staff is alerted to their location for their safety.
Staff assignments and training are high priorities at Homelake, for example:
All staff receives training on working with individuals with dementia through two onsite Homelake employees who have received training on “Changing the Way We Care, Person-Centered Care for People with Dementia.”
Consistent staffing is provided throughout the nursing home, allowing residents to become more familiar with their caregivers and helping to create a sense of family.
The Colorado State Veterans Center does not provide a secure area providing memory care services. Therefore, admission criteria for these services are the same as for all other nursing home residents: Individuals must be honorably discharged veterans, veterans’ spouses or “Gold-Star Parents,” any of whose children died while serving in the Armed Forces.