November 27, 2022 —The Rockbridge Community Health Foundation (RCHF) recently held a Community Impact Grants awards ceremony.
Staff members Katie Harlow, resident life program director, and Ashley Brunty, marketing and admissions associate, attended on behalf of Kendal at Lexington.
In June of 2022, Kendal at Lexington was awarded a grant from the Rockbridge Community Health Foundation in collaboration with the Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital for the “Community Experts on Dementia and Aging” project. The grant runs July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.
About the Grant:
This grant is being used provide a Dementia Behavior De-escalation Training program for professionals in the greater Lexington community, including police, firefighters and other emergency personnel, as well as older adult service providers, including the Kendal at Lexington team. Dementia Capable Care Training uses the Claudia Allen Cognitive Disabilities Model in conjunction with Thomas Kitwood’s model of person-centered care to provide caregivers the tools needed to best support those living at various stages of dementia. Dementia Capable Care strives to shift paradigms from focusing on what those living with dementia can’t do, to focusing on what their remaining abilities are, and then helping them to thrive at each level.
The remainder of the grant is being used toward setting up “Virtual Dementia Tours” for the Kendal at Lexington staff, as well as the surrounding Lexington community. This program allows people to experience a simulation of the hardships individuals living with dementia experience when trying to accomplish typical daily tasks. This often-emotional experience will help participants gain more perspective and a deeper level of understanding of how to support those with dementia. The public will be made aware of opportunities to participate through local news outlets.
Progress, to date:
About halfway into the grant cycle, Kendal at Lexington has been able to offer six Dementia Capable Care classes for Kendal at Lexington staff (training roughly 45 participants) and five Virtual Dementia Tours (training about 35 staff participants). The community also now offers a family/caregiver support group through the Alzheimer’s Association once a month. So far, we have been able to offer three meetings to the families of Kendal residents and the greater Rockbridge area.
The team is meeting with local firefighters, police, hospice, hospital, and RAHC clinic to collectively schedule a date for January or February. We will begin with training a select group of representatives from each organization. We will then develop plans for educating the other members of the departments and organizations.