The onset of Alzheimer’s or other related dementias can be life-changing for families. Caregiving challenges take physical, emotional and financial tolls on family caregivers. There may come a time when the person with dementia needs more care than can be provided by families alone.
Across the state, Lutheran Homes of South Carolina’s non-profit, faith-based care continuum offers a variety of supportive programs for people living with memory concerns. Options include living at one of their five retirement communities in specialized memory support assisted living or rehabilitation and healthcare centers, living at home with the support of BeWell Home Services, or end-of-life care through Lutheran Hospice.
Lutheran Homes of South Carolina’s commitment to caring for people with Alzheimer’s starts with providing education and training to allow staff to be prepared, demonstrate knowledge, and feel confident in their care of people with Alzheimer’s and related memory concerns. Dr. Thomas Brown, Lutheran Homes President and CEO, explains, “Our commitment to our residents, families and staff is strengthened by our standard for all caregivers and associated professionals to participate in CARES® dementia training and to become certified in the ‘essentiALZ™.’ We proudly recognize staff for being trained in and knowledgeable of quality dementia care practices.”
Cathi Cooper, BeWell Home Services Program Director, states, “The training and certification helped me and our caregivers to understand better ways to help with challenges our clients face.” CARES® provides caregivers with basic knowledge needed to provide person-centered care for any person, with any level of memory decline, living in any situation. The training focuses on the changes that happen to thinking skills as memory concerns progress, how changes impact behavior, and how to understand behavior as communication.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s essentiALZ™ certification program combines select CARES® training with online certification exams. The exams test staff members’ knowledge in topics developed from the evidence-based and nationally recognized Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations, which are supported by more than 30 leading health and senior care organizations. Topics include Alzheimer’s and dementia, understanding behavior, communication, person-centered care, making a connection, eating well, recognizing pain, minimizing falls, wandering and minimizing restraints.
Melissa Yetter, Executive Director at the Heritage at Lowman, advises, “When choosing a facility or an agency to provide support at home, ask about the staffs’ qualifications. Lutheran Homes understands Alzheimer’s. Our certified caregivers know how to help.”
Learn more. Call (800) 756-9443 or visit LutheranHomesSC.org.