July 28, 2012

We have attended LINK in the past and find that it is a fantastic opportunity to connect with leadership in Long Term Care chains and help them understand the value proposition of our model group cognitive therapy program for persons living with dementia in care settings. 

Individuals living with dementia are sometimes challenging to interact with using everyday communication patterns. Changes in the executive functions of their brain and challenges encoding new information into long-term memory are the source of these challenges. Because of these interaction challenges people are left alone more, are asks questions less, and become more isolated. With under stimulation the results is boredom and feelings of helplessness. Individuals in this state often seek stimulation in the form of negative interactions and behaviors. These behaviors might include wandering, repetitive questioning, or negative socialization such as hiting or biting.

To keep a person stimulated, social interaction is required. The Memory Magic Program is designed to provide that interaction, by providing a platform, a cognitive prostheses™ that fills in the gaps in functions in persons living with dementia. Those remaining abilities are the skills and information that have been known the longest and include basic reading (learned at 6-8 years old), early memories (learned from 5 to 21 years old), and often reviewed cultural materials (popular songs, movies, and widely experience historical events). These  intact processes and materials are accessible in the brain and The Memory Magic Program capitalizes on these processes and materials. The program provides cues and uses familar, age-appropriate materials to the group, and the result experienced while using the program is an engaging group social interaction.

When staff are given The Memory Magic Program to set up they appreciate that it only takes a minute to prepare for up to 20 participants. When leading their first Memory Magic Program session they are amazed that the cueing built into the program includes them as well as for their participants. And what the staff experience is a level of interaction and a demonstration of remainging self and self-knowledge. They see that person knows about themselves, their history, and still can share those experiences. When staff see the person is still in there, and they see how The Memory Magic Program brings that person out, they learn to approach all other interactions in this new way and in doing so learn how to reengage with residents. This increases the staff's satisfaction directly, but also makes their interactions easier because their residents are interacting, no longer bored, and the number of behaviors are reduced.

Happier staff means lower turnover, and that translates to more time and resources devoted to care and not to bring new staff into the system. There has been a great satifcation for us to help elevate the care of so many individuals in the over 1500 facilities using The Memory Magic program. We look forward to carry our message to a new set of relationships through the companies we will meet at LTC LINK 2012 this year.

Chicago, IL
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