With greater awareness and more options for dementia care and assisted living, many long-term care consumers have become more discriminating and demanding of quality programs. Providers who offer noticeably superior programming find their communities highly desired . . . and profitable.
The mission of Nancy Schier Anzelmo and the ACA’s Associates is to actively participate in developing programs for persons with dementia that are a genuine practice of person-centered care. That means it is:
- Based on knowing each person as a unique individual with a rich life history
- Maintains continuity so each individual living with dementia experiences purpose and meaning in daily life activities
- Fosters feelings of belonging, significance and safety and community
- Delivered in a personalized and positive social environment;
- Values each person’s family and other partners in care.
Long before the term was popularized and the conceptual framework formalized, Nancy was advocating and developing person-centered dementia care. She is convinced this approach offers those living with dementia opportunities to grow socially and spiritually and to enjoy enriched and satisfying lives.
ACA believes dementia-specific programs must meet the personalized needs of the individuals residing within the community, as well as taking into consideration the interests and talents of staff, residents, and their families. This is a “partnership model of care,” where every program element includes benefits for each of the “partners” in the caregiving experience.
The “perfect model of care” is unfolding. Every new program or service for individuals living with dementia is an opportunity for education, enlightenment and improvement. The challenge is to translate a person-centered philosophy into action.
Program Elements Deemed Essential by ACA
Special assisted living or dementia programs should include the following key components:
- Person-centered care practices
- Person & Family Engagement
- Staff and family involvement and resources
- Community connections
- A Specialized therapeutic environment
- Dementia capable staff training
- Meaningful Activity and Recreation
- Continuous quality monitoring and improvement
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