Advice Mind & Memory Care

Dementia Care Staff Education Week at Benchmark Senior Living

In the world of senior care, where the complexities of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are continually growing, Benchmark Senior Living stands out for its commitment to innovation and excellence in memory care. Our extensive training, dedicated leadership and pioneering programming distinguish us as leaders in compassionate assisted living and long-term memory care.

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is marked by memory loss and cognitive decline that intensify as the disease progresses, affecting the quality of life for those diagnosed. ( Tasks once taken for granted, from grocery shopping and cooking to remembering names and reading, become increasingly difficult and immensely frustrating. The fading recognition of familiar faces can lead to heartbreaking moments for all involved. Understanding these key symptoms and experiences equips us to offer empathy, patience, and targeted support to those navigating the complexities of this prevalent form of dementia. 

Benchmark’s Leadership and Distinct Training Programs

Benchmark’s Mind and Memory Care teams play a crucial role in developing and executing memory care initiatives. Our associates undergo extensive training, meeting and exceeding regulatory requirements and ensuring that they are well-equipped to address the unique needs of all residents. From immersive training experiences called Dementia Live where associates use goggles to simulate dementia, to ongoing live education sessions, Benchmark invests in creating a knowledgeable and empathetic team, setting Benchmark apart in senior assisted living. 

Benchmark has established a systematic protocol and training for associates, promoting effective communication and meaningful connections at all stages of dementia. Michelle Tristani, the Corporate Director of Memory Care at Benchmark, emphasizes that “each Mind and Memory Care community in the Benchmark family prioritizes meaningful connections utilizing their Connect First Approach and individualizing programs based on resident interest.”

Connect First Program

Benchmark’s Connect First Program is a collective of positive human connection strategies that honor the relationship between our associates and residents living with dementia. This program emphasizes connecting before engaging in any task, fostering a sense of unity rather than an ‘us vs. them’ mentality.

In real life, this means our associates are trained to spend 5 minutes connecting and building trust before engaging in any task, saving time overall and creating an environment of trust for all. Associates are trained on the best positive physical approaches, where simple interactions like a handshake can be modified to be safer and more calming for someone with dementia. Our Behavioral Expressions and Approach Protocol measures the effectiveness of these approaches, focusing on understanding resident’s needs and improving their quality of life.

National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCDDP) Certification

Benchmark Senior Living takes pride in the fact that every Mind and Memory Care Director is a certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP). This demonstrates a deep commitment to ongoing professional development, ensuring our team adheres to the highest standards of ethical and quality care as outlined by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP).

Our Mind and Memory Care teams spearheaded the development and integration of memory care initiatives inclusive of cognitive wellness, engagement, and behavioral expression. This dedicated team collaborates with the Resident Care team, offering crucial support to Mind and Memory Care Directors, Resident Care Associates (RCAs), and all associates involved in Mind and Memory Care Programming. 

Benchmark’s Continuous Collaboration 

Benchmark fosters open communication and the continued pursuit of excellence where over 60 experts regularly convene to discuss policies and procedures, ensuring the highest quality of care. We also offer the opportunity for any associate to attend the Alzheimer’s Awareness Certification on Habilitative Therapy throughout the year and become certified. These on-going commitments, along with our innovative programs, team work approach, and rigorous education set Benchmark apart in Mind and Memory Care for seniors. Choosing Benchmark means choosing a community dedicated to enhancing the lives of seniors and promoting a holistic, supportive approach to aging in place. For more information about Mind and Memory Care at Benchmark and to find a community near you, click here.

Mind & Memory Care
Creating a Plan, Having the Conversation, Making the Move, Understanding Options