Caring for and caring for residents with dementia is an ongoing challenge, but innovative programs can help give residents a higher quality of life. The SHINE Memory Care program at Discovery Senior Living is one such program. The SHINE program takes a unique approach to memory care and was recently recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association for its work.
Development of the SHINE Memory Care program
According to Laura Sypniewski, National Director of Health and Wellness at Discovery Senior Living, the goal of the SHINE program was to develop a “truly person-centered approach, one that touches every aspect of the life of the person living with dementia. An approach that truly improves the life of that resident, their family and the team. “
That program needed to be realistic and sustainable, and needed to provide tools and education that the team could tailor for each situation they encountered with a resident with dementia.
The development of the program was a collaboration between an “internal multidisciplinary and multilevel team of experts, together with the guidance of some of our excellent national program experts,” explains Sypniewski. That team included practical health care workers, department and community leaders, and executives. “We turned to our industry experts and relied on current research and guidance,” says Sypniewski. “We married it to everyday reality, the challenges and rewards of working with people with dementia.”
Knowing that the aged care industry faces turnover and staffing challenges, Discovery Senior Living and its community team members have worked to build SHINE as a norm and culture in its communities. Program experts exist at multiple levels in every community. “There were, and probably will be, times when the team decided to start and complete re-education and refocus their efforts,” says Sypniewski. “It is the strong teams in the community that have given SHINE strong roots to continue growing.
A program with a unique design
The SHINE program takes a unique approach to memory care. According to Sypniewski, the program “focuses not only on the person with dementia, but also on the people living with the person with dementia”. These people can include family and community caregivers, clinical team members, culinary team members, and more. “It is in sharing information, both current and historical, about residents and their current needs, desires, desires, history and interests, that our greatest successes are born. All of these successes are due to the fact that that team comes together to solve the puzzle that is the disease of dementia. “
While Discovery Senior Living caregivers receive training, they also have access to SHINE’s education, tools and resources. Each resident is unique and the family and residents can share information about their past and history, while the team is able to share information about where the resident is currently on their journey. “Training is recurring and continuous, but education is always lasting and takes place all day, every day,” explains Sypniewski.
So far, the feedback on the program has been very positive. Sypniewski notes that Discovery Senior Living receives comments on how much families enjoy spending time with loved ones: “watching and participating in a life well lived. All of our residents have a rich history, extraordinary achievements, traditions, goals and personalities. The SHINE program is designed to enhance and highlight those pieces. “
The complete and unique approach of the SHINE program has earned it a certificate of recognition from the Alzheimer’s Association. The program curriculum was thoroughly revised before this distinction was awarded. To date, Discovery Senior Living is one of only eight supplier associations nationwide to have received this special recognition.
The SHINE Memory Care program is currently offered to 40 Discovery Senior Living communities across the United States.