Kootenai Health geriatric nurse practice specialist, Linda Henrich, recently shared a great story about the work being done to serve the patient population that suffers from dementia. “I am involved in work aimed at helping improve care for our older patients. I have also been active in dementia care training to help educate staff how to improve communication and understanding of behaviors our older patients with dementia may demonstrate. It’s been slow going due to COVID-19, but our team has embraced the process and has gone above and beyond – they are organizing group activities for patients with dementia (following infection prevention standards) and inspiring other staff to take some of our learned strategies to really help engage and more effectively care for this unique population,” Linda said. Some of the strategies learned include group activities to provide opportunities for socialization, allowing these patients to be out of their rooms with opportunities to be out of bed and mobile. This also helps them to interact more positively with staff.
This important initiative would not be possible without the generous donor support of the Kootenai Health Foundation. “We are really proud to be able to help promote the work Linda and her team are doing,” said Foundation President, Julie Holt. “It’s programs like these that help us continually improve the patient and care team experience”
Linda is happy to work to improve the experience for patients with dementia and the care team who interact with them. “It is such a joy to see the staff excited to be providing great care and seeing a reduction in some negative patient behaviors. The staff in other areas who don’t regularly interface with patients with dementia have also enjoyed watching this patient interaction – we look forward to sharing the lessons we’ve learned and continuing to improve upon our quality care.”