While millions of people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, no two of those people are the same. Symptoms very widely, and there is no cookie-cutter plan of care that works for everyone. That's why person-centered care – seeing those living with dementia as whole persons – is a cornerstone of Ebenezer's Dimensions® Memory Care program. Want to learn more? Here are several principles to illustrate how person-centered care looks at an Ebenezer.
We look at each person’s abilities, preferences, and needs. We get to know their personal history in order to see the big picture before we design their care plan.
We meet people where they are in order to give them the care they need. Some days are better than others for people experiencing dementia. They may function at a high level today; tomorrow, they might need a little more TLC. Great care has to be flexible enough to change a bit from day to day. We expect this as part of a normal journey for a person in Memory Care, and we train our staff to respond accordingly.
Compassion & Creativity
Our caregivers know cookie-cutter solutions just don't cut it. They're trained to be creative and compassionate when responding to a need, based on what's happening at the moment and their knowledge of the individual. Our staff care deeply about the people who call Ebenezer home, and it shows.
At move-in, residents with dementia receive a cognitive/functional assessment conducted by an RN or by a team of therapists. The assessment outlines goals and approaches for each person based on their level of cognition and physical abilities. The broad goal is to help people comfortably navigate their environment and continue to do the things they enjoy for as long as possible.
Staff members at Ebenezer receive comprehensive training to help them care for our residents living with dementia. Training starts during the onboarding process and continues throughout employment. Our Dimensions Program Coordinator conducts in-person training sessions at every Ebenezer site and creates shorter training programs to be delivered regularly by managers, nurses, or other site leaders. We make our training interactive and participatory, often including role play and skill practice, to make sure all our staff can provide the best care possible.
At Ebenezer, we provide opportunities for physical therapy, massage therapy, and regular exercise, and we encourage activities to promote brain health, such as using aromatherapy for relaxation and eating well.
The heart of our Life-Long Learning program is a commitment to life enrichment and creative arts activities. Across Ebenezer, we work with creative artists who have been trained specifically to work interactively with seniors using music, drumming, poetry, art, and dancing. We offer spiritual support, intergenerational connections, service projects, and pet therapy. And of course, we engage people in helping with normal tasks of daily living as much as possible.
Thoughtfully Designed Spaces
Our Memory Care communities are designed to give residents living with dementia a sense of safety and security, with controlled-access entries, community spaces, special lighting, calming decor, and accessible spaces and furniture.
Family Education & Support
At Ebenezer, we understand that people living with dementia are not the only ones in need of support. Their families need it too! We prioritize staying in touch with family members to learn from them about their loved ones and to remain on the same page concerning the care we provide. To that end, we offer regular care conferences and a variety of educational programs, community events, and care partner support groups.
For many years Ebenezer has maintained alliances with the Alzheimer's Association, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and the Center on Aging, Centrex Therapy, and Fairview Home Care and Hospice Senior Services. Our partnerships make for a stronger community capable of providing the best in personalized care.
At Ebenezer, it's our goal to make a dramatic difference in the lives of persons with dementia. Through our innovative Dimensions® Memory Care, we serve our residents with dignity, encouraging meaningful experiences every day. To learn more about our programs, visit the Ebenezer website and the Ebenezer blog.