Providence Memory Care training enhances quality of life

As part of our commitment to creating Dementia Friendly Communities, all Providence staff receive special training to better serve our residents. For 12 hours over 2 days, Providence caregivers, housekeepers, dining staff, and Life Enrichment staff receive specialized training in understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and other memory impairments. The first four hours of Providence Memory Care training are designed for all Providence staff, whether they are in a direct caregiving role or not. Creative care Nurses, CNAs, and other direct caregivers receive an additional eight hours of Memory Care training. They learn to design creative programs that improve quality of life. They learn special strategies for communicating with people who are unable to express themselves. They learn to keep people safe without treating them like children. “Safety is an important concern,” says one caregiver, “because the disease has robbed clients of their sense of judgment and their physical senses. We need flexibility and creativity to meet their needs successfully.” The training itself is creative as well. In one exercise, participants wear stiff gloves to simulate the effects of arthritis. Dark glasses limit their vision. And headphones fill their ears with static or unintelligible voices, similar to the problems many seniors report about using hearing […]

Celebrating Grandparents

Grandparents Day, which falls in September each year, was originally founded not only to recognize grandparents, but also to bring awareness of the needs of people living in nursing homes. Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade was a West Virginia housewife who had worked with senior citizens for many years. In 1970 she began a campaign to honor them. In 1979 her efforts were fulfilled when President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation creating a National Grandparents Day. Mrs. McQuade passed away in 2008 at the age of 91. The Grandparents Day Proclamation includes text that resonates with Providence caregivers, many of whom care for our residents like family. In part, the Proclamation reads: Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society a link to our national heritage and traditions. We all know grandparents whose values transcend passing fads and pressures, and who possess the wisdom of distilled pain and joy. Because they are usually free to love and guide […]

New Life in Assisted Living — one resident’s experience

Many people find that moving to a retirement or assisted living community gives them new opportunities, new freedoms. They expected “less,” and found more. The transformation can be amazing. What follows is the story of one woman’s experience when she moved in to Royal Atrium Inn, our assisted living community in Zeeland, Michigan: I didn’t know who I was. I had started life as an only daughter. Then I was a sister. Then I was a student, and after high school I became a wife (for 70 years!). Motherhood followed, and grandmother-hood, and great grandmother-hood! For most of my life, my only title was “Mrs.” Then my husband died, and I had to rediscover myself. What was my purpose for living? What are my likes and dislikes? What skills do I have? What activities do I enjoy? My journey of self-discovery began with the road trip from South Carolina to Michigan. I felt like a five-year-old again! The winding road, uphill and down, felt like a roller coaster, and I was delighted. I hadn’t seen a cow or a horse for almost 15 years, but in Michigan they dotted the landscape. The good, black dirt and the beautiful farmland made me […]

A head start on school supplies

PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 2012) “We just wanted to do something to give back to staff,” says Megan Tengerstrom. “They work hard, and we appreciate them.” Megan works for Providence Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Palos Heights, and the beginning of a new school year gave her an idea for helping her co-workers. She organized a raffle for staff members with children aged 3-16. The plan was to raffle off a few sets of free school supplies. When more than 70 staff entered the raffle, Megan didn’t want to let any of them down. So she began collecting money to buy as many school supplies as possible, so as many people as possible could win. Not only were her co-workers happy to donate – cash as well as school supplies – but the Medical Directors and other doctors who serve Providence made donations as well. Their generosity, combined with Megan’s savvy shopping, ensured that everyone who entered the raffle was a winner. “Every week I looked in the sale papers to see who had which items on sale for the cheapest,” says Megan. “Staples, Office Depot, Walmart – I hit them all! And sometimes they would have penny sales, so I […]