“The heart that truly loves never forgets.” – Proverb
Welcome to Harmony Village
Notre Dame Long Term Care Center’s Special Care Unit provides support and compassion for residents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Our goal is to help our residents realize their greatest potential, cognitively, physically, psychosocially, and spiritually. To achieve that goal, we provide a caring and secure environment, with specialized personal care, spiritual support, and meaningful, failure-free activities.
Residents with memory impairment have special needs related to the cognitive, emotional and physical demands of their disease. It takes special consideration to create a comfortable, homelike atmosphere for these residents.
Before beginning our new direction, the care team visited several established program sites and worked closely with experts in the area of caring for those with memory impairment.
Here are some of the steps taken at NDLTCC to develop a program that recognizes the individualized care needs of our memory impaired seniors.
- A multidisciplinary leadership team in place
- Sophisticated behavioral management program
- Dedicated full-time social worker
- Dedicated activities program
Design and Function:
- Reconfigured Nurses’ station and central area
- Quiet sitting areas for small groups
- Outdoor patio area
- Small dining room with appropriate color and pattern
- Activity supplies readily accessible by all shifts in our “activity center”
- Glider rockers to soothe agitation and anxiety
- Quilts made of various fabrics to benefit those with memory impairment through the power of touch
Specialized Staff Training:
- All facility staff receive Alzheimer’s training on orientation.
- Notre Dame Health Care offers training for employees to learn and become Certified Dementia Practitioners. Several staff hold certifications.
- Staff meet weekly to communicate and update individualized care plans for residents.
Resident Culture Change:
- Activities offered throughout the day
- Dining Program
- Consistent assignments
- Sensory Stimulation Program
- Aroma Therapy
- Music is used to alleviate symptoms
- Namaste Program – Pastoral Care program recognizes the Divine in all people
- Community outings
- Ongoing Family Support Group
- Alzheimer’s Memory Impairment literature available for reference
- Memory Boxes with pictures and mementos are located outside each resident room to give staff, families and residents a glimpse into the life of the person with memory impairment and provide a connection between the past and the present
- “Day Trip” to unit for residents anticipating transfer to Harmony Village – joining the unit’s activities for a day gives the potential new resident, his or her family, and the unit team the opportunity to interact prior to transfer
- Mental health services
- Evaluation and medication management for signs and symptoms of anxiety/depression