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In Your Opinion: Concerns Abound About Dementia Care Home

By Donna M. Lisi, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP, BCGP, BCACP, Clinical Pharmacist.

As a Certified Dementia Practitioner and someone who has been in the field of Geriatrics for 30 years, I have concerns as well from reading (about the proposed dementia care home on Bennett’s Lane).

It is unclear what the backgrounds would be of these three staff people. I, too, take issue with this staffing ratio. Further, what stage of dementia would this facility enroll? Since this would be on a farm with lots of open space, what safeguards would be put in place to ensure that the residents don’t wander? Since dementia is most often progressive, what will happen as their condition worsens? How will behavioral issues be managed? With such minimal oversight, how will the potential for abuse be monitored? Will the facility be approved through the state? Has the Somerset County on Aging been approached about this? How will medications be secured? Who will handle residents’ finances? I’m not quite sure why they anticipate that there will be few visitors. Having facilitated an Alzheimer’s disease caregiver support group for years, I know first hand that usually even once a dementia patient is placed in a facility, the family is still very much involved.

At the same time that I have all of these concerns about lack of oversight, I commend the concept of an alternative approach to dementia care. The United States is light years behind in erecting facilities like dementia villages that occur throughout Europe. Warehousing dementia patients in traditional type facilities does little to enhance their quality of life while nature can have a healing effect.

I think the concept is unique, however, I’m concerned about the devil in the details.

 

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