In the ever-evolving landscape of senior living, a noticeable trend has emerged over the past few years, gaining even more momentum in the wake of the pandemic. Seniors across the country are redefining their preferences, gravitating towards alternatives like home care and community-based services such as adult day care. The desire for independence and the comfort of aging in a familiar home environment have driven this shift, but it's essential to recognize that this decision isn't without its implications.
As of July 31, 2023, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Center for Innovation (CMS) announced a new payment model designed to promote care and support for people with traditional Medicare insurance or dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid living with dementia in the community.
Empathy is our desire and willingness to see as others see and to feel as they feel. Perhaps Atticus Finch said it best in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird:
In the world of aging services, empathy and understanding are the cornerstones of being a care partner. While care partners provide essential physical support, it is the emotional connection that truly sets them apart. Overture Home Care, a leading senior care provider, has embraced our powerful training program called Dementia Live® that nurtures empathy and understanding among their care partners. This program aims to create a deeper bond between care partners and those they care for, ultimately making a profound impact on the lives of those they serve.
Take a look into Overture Home Care’s experience with Dementia Live
The Challenge of Caregiver Turnover
The senior care industry faces a significant challenge in the form of caregiver turnover. According to Home Care Pulse, the average turnover rate in the industry is a staggering 77%. Frequent turnover not only disrupts the continuity of care but also affects the emotional well-being of the elderly who often form strong bonds with their caregivers. However, Overture Home Care stands out with a remarkably low turnover rate of 30 - 33%.
The AGE-u-cate Difference
So, what sets Overture Home Care apart from others in the industry? The answer lies in their commitment to empowering caregivers through comprehensive training, particularly with our Dementia Live program. This program is designed to help care partners understand the challenges faced by those they care for, particularly those living with dementia, on a deeper level. By immersing caregivers in simulated experiences that mimic the sensory and cognitive impairments of dementia, they gain valuable insights into the daily struggles faced by those they serve.
Empathy and Connection at the Core
At the heart of the Dementia Live program is the emphasis on empathy and connection. Care partners are encouraged to put themselves in the shoes of the elderly, experiencing firsthand the confusion, frustration, and vulnerability that dementia can bring. This unique approach fosters a deeper level of understanding, compassion, and patience.
Topics: Dementia Live
Discussion or Group Discussion is also referred to as Cooperative Learning. This active study method can lead to higher retention rates and greater skill-building outcomes when applied to dementia training.
Topics: dementia education
The World Health Organization has declared Dementia a public health priority (WHO,2020) and called for global action to establish Dementia-friendly initiatives. Global communities are mobilizing stakeholders, volunteers, and community leaders to push forward on this movement.
The challenge with many initiatives is creating a framework that moves the needle on widespread community buy-in and understanding of the mission. Without an innovative approach, there is a higher risk of stagnation or even failure. This should not be an option.
The need for Dementia friendly communities is at a critical juncture. We must prepare for the projected 82 million people living with some form of Dementia by 2030 (WHO). Community populations must shift their thinking by bringing impactful awareness, education, and resources to the broader community.
Innovative programming reduces duplication of services from others who are serving the community. Assessing the services of other community organizations must be a first step in creating a programming model and will help create the organization's mission, vision, and values.
After careful assessment, the organization can look at filling needs with innovative, creative programming. A great example of innovative and robust programming was a project undertaken by Dementia Friendly Fort Worth (TX). Shortly after the Pandemic took hold, and it was clear that in-person activities would be on hold, a daily virtual social program was created to serve the needs of older adults living at home. The program flourished by collaborating with local arts organizations and individuals who brought new and vibrant activities!
The virtual program met a need, was different than what other organizations were doing, and, equally important, opened doors to funding from our local Area Agency on Aging and United Way.
Innovation will spur funding!
The best community missions need funding to fulfill their mission. To do this, securing financial support allows for solid strategic planning and growth. They work hand-in-hand, especially as the organization gets up and running. DF initiatives need to work smart and have a framework for data and outcomes tracking on all programming activities. The goal is positive results and being able to assess this early on so that any adjustments that move the needle can be made. Or, if outcomes don't improve, the program may have to be dropped. Successful programming pushes an organization forward while garnering community support.
Every community is different, and each DF organization will be unique, which is what makes the diversity of this movement so exciting. If you are a stakeholder in a Dementia Friendly initiative, I urge you to connect with others who are paving the way and learn from their successes and challenges. Develop a network of leaders with whom you can share innovative programming and funding ideas. As part of the Dementia Friendly Fort Worth Board, I have the honor to talk with colleagues from around the country seeking advice and with whom I can gain tremendous insight to share with our organization.
If you are seeking innovative programming, I would be honored to talk with you! AGE-u-cate is committed to serving the global movement of Dementia Friendly communities with dynamic, creative, and impactful outreach programming.
Topics: Dementia friendly community