A new northern Dementia Assessment Outreach team and neighborhood (also known as a unit) – the second in Saskatchewan - is opening later this year at Parkridge Centre, and will help many who are dealing with dementia.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada reports that over 1.1 million Canadians are currently affected, directly and indirectly, by dementia, and the number of new cases grows by 25,000 every year. Dementia is the overall term for a set of symptoms that include memory loss, as well as difficulties with problem-solving, language and the ability to perform everyday activities. It can lead to complex and challenging changes in moods or behaviours.
To help both those with dementia and those that care for them, a Dementia Assessment (DA) Outreach team and five-bed dementia assessment neighbourhood is currently being developed at Saskatoon’s Parkridge Centre. Once open, the neighbourhood will provide support for persons with the diagnosis of dementia who are experiencing highly responsive behaviours that can include agitation, pacing, wandering, etc.
An artist’s drawing of what the new short stay dementia unit will look like (interior and exterior)
DA Outreach team’s goal is to work with central and northern home facilities and communities to provide care and support in place. For those requiring additional support, the five bed Dementia Assessment neighbourhood at Parkridge will provide an intensive wrap around service for a period of up to 90 days, with the goal of developing a new and sustainable care plan. This will allow clients with dementia to transfer back to their home community with support from the DA Outreach Team.
This goal aligns with current best practices as it pertains to aging in place. “By working with individuals, families, and staff to provide support in a familiar environment, individuals with dementia can remain attached to their friends, neighbors, and the community in general,” explains Kim Taylor, Manager of Interprofessional Practice, and the DA Outreach Program Coordinator.
Renovations to create this specialized new neighbourhood in an existing area of Parkridge began in mid-November. The neighbourhood, which has been named Eastview, is scheduled to open in early spring 2017 with the DA Outreach team beginning their work in early February 2017. The southern Dementia Assessment Resource team and Dementia Assessment Unit located at Wascana Rehabilitation Centre in Regina became operational in April of last year.
“We are extremely pleased to be offering this service to those individuals and families in our province who are struggling with their changing health care needs,” says Taylor.