Our assisted living activities have been upgraded to more of a rehabilitation-oriented department, to respond to the changing resident mix we observed last year and anticipate will continue.
We’re seeing more complex but higher functioning neuropsychiatric syndromes with medical, neurological and psychiatric components. Many of the residents are coming from other facilities where there is not enough support along one or several dimensions.
Others have been home with private duty care and their illnesses are further along by the time they come to assisted living. Finally, medications to slow down, much less reverse, any dementia syndromes continue to fail in the drug development process.
To increase the clinical skills in the activities departments, we’ll bring a new staff that is trained in complex rehabilitation teamwork. Traditionally, they go to work in skilled rehab centers or head injury/spinal cord injury treatment settings. We want them to see dementia as a number of diseases which will benefit from the same approaches but with different outcomes.
Our “outcome measures” are improved quality of life, decreased disability during the end of life care and smooth transitions from acute care to end-stage care (hospice) for residents and families. The indicators of improvement include active participation in group activities, selective involvement in cognitive preservation activities (see activities program details) and satisfaction reports from family and/or significant others.