Dolan Residential Care Centers was one of only two facilities chosen from dozens of applicants within the St. Louis Metropolitan Area to participate in the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) Alzheimer’s and dementia demonstration project.
Dolan Residential Care Centers was honored to be chosen to participate in Missouri’s new pilot program that focuses on the special needs of the Alzheimer’s sufferer.
Gov. Mel Carnahan today announced a new state program to improve the long-term care of people with Alzheime’s disease. Sixteen care facilities throughout the state will participate in the pilot program and focus on the special needs of Alzheimer’s patients.
“Placing a parent or grandparent in a nursing home is never an easy decision for a family, but this program will help provide the best care with special attention on the unique needs of Alzheimer’s patients,” Carnahan said.
Legislation signed by Carnahan last year established the program within the state Division of Aging and authorizes the licensing of 300 new beds at long-term care facilities as well as a 120-bd stand-alone facility that cares exclusively for Alzheimer’s sufferers. The program is an initial step in establishing a new state licensure category for long-term facilities that provide care for Alzheimer’s patients.
Participating facilities are directed to use a social model for care rather than the institutional medical model used at many nursing homes. Because mental confusion, rather than medical problems, is often the primary concern for Alzheimer’s patients, an emphasis on social interaction among staff and residents is used to maintain skills and abilities and delay the patients’ decline.
“Alzheimer’s disease is a special condition that requires special treatment,” Carnahan said. “New research tells us that there are ways that the quality of life for these patients can be improved, and this program will help us do that. It will also help families who are dealing with the many challenges that come with caring for a family member with this condition.”
The pilot projects must met safety standards equivalent to those required of skilled nursing facilities in Missouri. They also will be inspected twice a year to evaluate the success of the program.