Name of Innovative Program:
Partnering with You (provisional title)
Chandler Hall Health Services
Name of Innovative Program Lead:
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead:
Chandler Hall has made great strides in the field of geriatric behavioral health thanks to the four-year Behavioral Health and Aging project, and now seeks to address another issue pertaining to behavioral health in long-term care: knowledge gaps which consistently present themselves among elders and their families.Chandler Hall will decrease the knowledge gap about dementia and Alzheimer’s for residents and families, integrating the core knowledge of how to live in a community setting with a diverse resident population. Our goal is to provide the tools, the dialogue, the references, and the values and practices that may improve the lives of residents, elders, and families.The project will provide residents and families of Chandler Hall residents with training about dementia and how to have more effective communication with their loved ones. We propose to create and provide curricula online along with two in-person learning sessions a year. The curriculum will teach about:
- Community life
- How to deal with emotions related to someone who is fine one day and all of a sudden in the throes of dementia.
Creativity and Innovation:
Chandler Hall’s vision is to seek innovative solutions. The new program, through new curricula drawing on many sources will fill a gap and provide solutions. We plan to develop an accessible and modern educational curriculum that is available via social and digital platforms, as well as more traditional print materials and face-to-face education that will be available for replication by long-term care providers. A challenge is that residents may “lose” a friend because of the disease process, a move to another part of campus, or death. They may also not know how to react when a friend is repeating himself. Aging – whether independently or with others, whether in a residential setting such as Chandler Hall, in the Adult Day Health Program, or in your town – means embracing change, and education is the best way to help foster this realization to impact quality of life for residents and families.
Chandler Hall interacts with a wide range of likeminded long-term care facilities, from the other affiliates of Kendal Corporation and other FSA organizations like Medford Leas, where our Behavioral Health and Aging Project was successfully replicated. In addition, our CEO, Lynette Killen, is a member of the innovation cabinet for LeadingAge, an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations. Our program would be collaborative and seek teaching partners from PYM (George Schaeffer specifically) and folks from the Alzheimers Association. George Schaeffer already does a series of lectures for residents of CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities). In addition, a Chandler Hall social worker has particular research expertise. She knows and understands our population, the content and the issues for the curriculum and deals with residents and families on a daily basis. She would be engaged as a key leader for the program along with our CEO, Lynette Killen and COO, Maureen Casey.
Chandler Hall plans to integrate the program into operations after Year Two when it has been developed. We plan to evaluate Alzheimers/dementia education, assess which points to emphasize and how to present them in an understandable way. For example, some of the information in Feeling Better: A Quick Reference Guide to Mood and Behavior, the guide developed as part of our Behavioral Health and Aging Project, could be used to educate residents and families. Information about community living which impacts residents and families may require a combination of researching the literature as well as teasing out our own best practices. Potential costs include a content expert, a social media expert, focus group costs, and staff training.
Chandler Hall is not alone in having recognized the harm that can be caused by this knowledge gap. Recent cases reviewed in our Ethics Committee and our Risk Management Committee have led inter-disciplinary team members (physicians, social workers, nurses, care partners, and management) to call out for support. In addition, general chatter at conferences, within the Peace Church Risk Management Group, and in the literature sets the larger stage for the case, demonstrating that there is a widespread need for programs like “Partnering with You” and resulting in a strong likelihood of replication. We anticipate that we will be able to use the success of “Partnering with You” to inspire others to join in our campaign to make information about dementia, Alzheimers, and community living more accessible and beneficial to elders and families.
Year One will be for planning and curriculum development. Year Two will be for implementation. Work force development will be involved as we work with care partners so that they can learn how to use the curriculum with residents. Focus groups will be surveyed with pre- and post- testing, both in person and online, to see if the curriculum is easy to move through with pre and post testing. Videotaped vignettes will help staff learn and be involved. Chandler Hall has experience with online learning through our Silver Chair modules and, more recently, with an Essentials program. We would engage a FSA intern to help with the project over the summer. We have had tremendous success with FSA interns over the last four years. Also, as mentioned, a Chandler Hall social worker, our CEO and COO will be directly involved.