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Published on May 17, 2018

Donation Offers Employees Best in Dementia Care Training

: Pictured are just some of the more than 30 employees of MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot recently completed The Alzheimer’s Association essentialALZ® and essentialALZPlus® certification, also known as the CARES dementia programPictured are just some of the more than 30 employees of MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot recently completed The Alzheimer’s Association essentialALZ® and essentialALZPlus® certification, also known as the CARES dementia program. The training, which follows best practices for the care and treatment of dementia-related behavioral disorders, was made possible by a donation through the Bigelow family of Vestaburg, Mich.

Thanks to a generous donation from The Stone House Bike Tour, organized by Jeff Bigelow in memory of his late father, Ken Bigelow of Vestaburg, Mich., employees of MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot are being trained on a new dementia care program. The Alzheimer’s Association essentialALZ® and essentialALZPlus® certification, also known as the CARES dementia program, follows best practices for the care and treatment of dementia-related behavioral disorders.

“Although we care for all patients ages 18 and older through our Behavioral Health Services program at the Medical Center in Alma, we are also well known for the quality of our geriatric psychiatric program,” said Iola Radtke, R.N., B.SN., W.C.C, nurse manager, MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot. “Offering the best in dementia care is a top priority for families seeking assistance for their aging loved ones. The training, now available to our employees as a result of the donation from The Stone House Bike Tour, gives staff  the tools needed to deal with challenging behaviors in a way that is respectful and compassionate. It also helps staff manage behaviors effectively; keeping both the patient and the staff safe.”

This online program is one of only three that is endorsed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CARES training focuses on person-centered care, the changes that happen to thinking skills as dementia progresses, how those changes impact behavior, and how to understand behavior as communication. The convenience of the online training format makes it easy for staff members to finish the training at any time, from any computer. Once completed, staff are certified as dementia care specialists.

“The care of patients with dementia is a growing concern across the nation,” said Radtke. “We love the fact that those who have entrusted us with the care of their loved one can feel reassured that he or she is being cared for by knowledgeable and certified staff members with the best in dementia care training.”

MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot offers both inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services. The Medical Center’s Inpatient Mental Health Unit recently underwent renovation and expansion and includes 26 private patient bedrooms with bathrooms; two large, medical Jacuzzi hot tubs; design that ensures safety, security and privacy of patients, families and others experiencing crisis and the need for hospitalization, and enhanced therapy space to provide a variety of options in which to conduct personal and group interactions.

The Medical Center’s outpatient care program, also known as the Psychiatric Partial Hospitalization Program, also moved into a renovated space within the Medical Center. This program helps people cope with life, these services offer intensive help for an individual with a psychiatric diagnosis who needs a level of care greater than weekly sessions, but does not require the 24-hour supervised care of an inpatient program.

The inpatient unit is accepting both voluntary and involuntary admissions of patients 18 years of age and older, including those with geriatric psychiatric issues. Those interested in more information may call toll-free at (800) 392-7652.

The Psychiatric Partial Hospitalization program accepts voluntary admissions via self, community or physician referral. Those interested in referral information may call (989) 466-3253 or (800) 392-7652. Those interested in insurance acceptance for the program may call (989) 466-3253.

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