Sisters of Providence host dementia care seminar

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The University of Southern Indiana’s Center for Health Aging and Wellness received a grant from the Indiana Department of health to fund dementia training across the state.

Tuesday afternoon, the Sisters of Providence hosted the second seminar with guest speaker, owner of the Positive Approach to Care training model, Teepa Snow.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia changes the brain and triggers a decline in thinking skills and behavior.

Snow has based her dementia care training model off of empathy and a certified nursing assistant’s ability to understand dementia from a personal point of view.

She explained her empathy based training with the example of a patient who has misplaced their toothbrush.

“Where is my toothbrush? Well I know where it is in a drawer but that’s a drawer from 20 years ago. And so if somebody says it’s right there, well that’s not mine,” said Snow. “Well now we’ve started an argument rather than, Oh you’re looking for your toothbrush! Yeah, well I don’t see that one but I can give you a new one.”

By using empathy, CNAs are able to build relationships with patients and gain their trust.

“To be able to teach them ways to build a relationship so that there’s a better overall outcome not only for the resident but for the staff as well,” said Kim Wright, Director of Nursing for Providence Healthcare.

CNAs from all over Southern Indiana have worked with snow through the USI grant.

“The state of Indiana is recognizing we need to move this to relationships so it’s not scene as trying to offer something that somebody doesn’t even know they need,” explained Snow.

Until there is a cure for dementia, CNAs can only do their best to keep their patients safe, comfortable and happy.

By using this PAC training model which will be taught in 25 CNA schools over the next three years, CNAs will be able to change the way dementia patients are cared for.

“When you are developing that relationship with that person, then you’re not providing care to them but with them,” said Wright.

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