HCMC to launch new Alzheimer’s unit Jan. 1

Hillsboro Community Medical Center has announced major program changes.

The Long Term Care Unit will be expanding services to include a Special Care Unit for people with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. The 11-bed Special Care Unit is scheduled to open Jan. 1.

“The board of directors decided this type of service would better serve our community,” said Michael Ryan, administrator and chief executive officer.

Staff members will receive training to work with people who have Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

“The need for well-planned, individualized care for persons with a dementing illness is great,” said Geraldine Hett, director of nursing for the care units.

“Our training efforts will focus on methods and techniques that will allow our residents to preserve their dignity and to utilize the life skills they currently possess.”

The Special Care Unit will provide consistency in a residential atmosphere. Residents will be able to tap into past skills and memories to provide normal experiences appropriate to their condition.

These experiences would include such activities as browsing through the newspaper while drinking coffee, taking walks in a secured courtyard or assisting in meaningful household tasks.

“Our staff will use a variety of techniques to limit problem situations, Hett said.

“We will use many different strategies to successfully deal with the variety of behaviors that can occur with dementing illnesses, including wandering, poor activities of daily living skills, and sundowning.

Residents with a dementing illness will be offered the care and comfort they deserve, Hett said.

For more information about the Long Term Care Unit at HCMC, call Gayla Ratzlaff at 947-1450.

For more information on the Special Care Unit, call Pam Ratzlaff at 947-2545.

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