Effective memory care home solutions can reduce caregiver burden, increase care partner confidence, improve feelings of self preparedness, and help caregiver’s help themselves.
By Carole Larkin
Alzheimer's Reading Room
Recently, on a trip to St. Louis Missouri I visited a truly unique nonprofit organization called Memory Care Home Solutions (MCHS).
MCHS provides sorely needed services for care partners of persons with dementia in the local area for free. It is funded by grants and contributions from individuals.
The most striking feature of Memory Care Home Solutions is that it has a mock up of a home showing inexpensive safety measures for homes containing persons with dementia. Care partners can walk through the mock up and see how they can modify their own home cheaply to make it safer for their loved ones.
The Executive Director, Lisa Baron, and her staff graciously walked me through the mock up, showing me the features of the house. They allowed me to take pictures which I have included with the article.
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As you can see, these are visual and other types of safety aides for people in the early through early-mid stages of the diseases. To me the pictures are self explanatory. The items foster more independence for the person and help the person’s sense of self esteem remain higher than without the items, as the person could accomplish tasks and have more purpose for their day. To me, this place teaches “person centered care”.
Memory Care Home Solutions also does private consultations and training with care partners, designed to reduce care partner stress. They also provide interactive workshops, presentations and seminars to the community as well as referrals to community services. All this is done to help the person with dementia avoid institutionalization as long as possible. Everything they do is free and is meant to serve low income populations.
Washington University (one of the most highly regarded universities in the nation in relation to knowledge of Alzheimer’s and other dementias) Department of Psychology conducts a quality assurance program on Memory Care Home Solutions and has helped compile a study of what Memory Care Home solutions has done over a twelve month period ( in 2010).
Their outcomes are phenomenal!
- 911 calls decreased by 60% per patient
- ER visits decreased by 61% per patient
- Outpatient visits by 43% per patient
- Estimated total Medicare dollars saved $972,000
- Delayed Institutionalization for at least 365 days
- Saved Medicaid/Medicare $45,625,000.
Personally, I think this place could serve as the template for communities all across the United States to build their own Memory Care Home Solutions for their local.
I also think that the big non profits including The National Alzheimer’s Association, The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, The National Parkinson’s Foundation and The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, should help fund these grass roots efforts to help care partners at home.
For more information or to get a copy of their DVD or Memory Care Guidebook (14.95 and really terrific) here is their website: www.memorycarehs.org. All their contact information is there.
ThirdAge Services LLC, is located in Dallas, TX.
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