Elderwood’s Dementia Capable Care Program

By Dennis Ng, DPT, MS, Director of Rehabilitation Services — Elderwood’s Dementia Capable Care program uses an evidence-based, specialized therapy approach.

Each individual diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, as well as those in various stages and with different types of dementia, receive specific care and treatment. Spaced retrieval, Montessori approach, validation techniques, reminiscence approach and best abilities maximize and support the residents’ ability to function within their environment. At the same time, caregivers and family members are empowered to use common understanding and language regarding the individual’s cognitive and emotional function and level of physical ability.

Using specific standardized testing to aid in assessing and staging the severity level of the dementia, our therapists tailor rehabilitation interventions and therapeutic programming to focus on an individual’s strengths and preserve abilities through activities they enjoy and can complete successfully. For instance, many therapies are activities-based, encouraging cognitive stimulation or movements within other activities that residents find appealing. Music and sensory integration therapy groups also help reduce behavioral difficulties and increase socialization.

All Alzheimer’s-related behaviors are a call for comfort, movement or communication. Elderwood therapists focus on developing communication skills, with a special emphasis on residents who are non-verbal, through the use of communication boards, augmentative communication devices, memory books and individualized person-centered communication. These approaches help facilitate communication and understanding between the resident, family member and caregiver.

Elderwood’s interdisciplinary rehabilitation team believes in incorporating all aspects of the resident’s personal and medical needs into his or her plan of care, with the involvement of physicians, family members, therapists and other health care providers. This enables us to identify strategies and techniques that will provide the best results.

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