Dementia and Alzheimer’s are diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. While there is no cure, living in a community that takes safety measures and provides support will give you and your family valued peace of mind. At Riddle Village, the Dementia Committee works hard to help take some of the burden off you.

The goal of the Dementia Committee is to provide optimal care, understanding, quality of life, and services to individuals with dementia while supporting all who are involved. The group is made up of six Riddle Village employees, some of whom have been with us for over 20 years. Members include our Personal Care Unit supervisor, admissions coordinator, activities supervisor, a dietary aide, a social worker, and the Personal Care and Wellness administrator. Each dedicated member offers skills and knowledge to the committee, allowing them to bring important information into our community.

How The Committee Serves Our Residents

Each month, the committee meets to see how they can better provide support services, patient centered care, and a living environment that is appropriate, safe and comfortable for people with dementia. They also work to offer information on this disease to families and assist them in support services. Additionally, the committee makes sure that staff is informed by receiving training on awareness and appropriate communication. As for the individual suffering from dementia, Riddle Village has implemented an activities program called Wings of Inspiration with therapies that are designed to enhance the residents’ daily life.

Since the Dementia Committee was started, 74 nursing staff members have been trained using the Teepa Snow positive approach to brain change. The committee has also introduced the Beers List to our facility, which is a list of medications that are potentially harmful to the elderly. When these drugs are prescribed, physicians are asked to rethink the medication and prescribe a safer drug. Our nursing staff has also increased the use of Melatonin, which is a natural drug, in residents who are prescribed sleep agents.

Our Commitment to Safe Accommodations

Riddle Village has even undergone some physical changes to better accommodate residents with dementia. For example, caution tape has replaced stop signs in units to signal that someone should not be entering a certain area. It is believed that stop signs indicate one should proceed with caution rather than avoid an area altogether due to danger. Other changes include installing a neutrally colored carpet to promote a calmer environment and using red plates instead of white for dining to help residents identify the food on their plate. In addition, dining hours have been extended to ensure that a resident can more freely choose when to eat and the less crowded setting allows residents to feel more comfortable.

Not only does the Dementia Committee work tirelessly to aide this disease in our community, but they also participate in causes to help raise awareness and money for the Alzheimer’s Association. This year, residents and staff at Riddle Village were able to buy t-shirts to wear throughout the month of June, which is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. There was also an organized walk around our community to help show support for those affected. Thanks to these efforts, $1,500 was raised and sent to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Riddle Village is committed to bettering our community through education, and the Dementia Committee is an integral part of this commitment. Our employees’ efforts to bring in awareness for diseases that affect our residents and their loved ones continue to make Riddle Village a safe and supportive community for seniors.