Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon Awarded Grant to Launch Innovative Dementia and Memory Care Program

The new person-centered program will serve the Westmoreland County and Greater Pittsburgh area dementia population.

cms 001 - Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon Awarded Grant to Launch Innovative Dementia and Memory Care ProgramIRWIN, Pennsylvania (June 6th, 2023) – Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon, the leading provider of Skilled Nursing, Rehabilitation, and Dialysis care, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a substantial grant to develop and implement a groundbreaking dementia care program. This program aims to revolutionize the way individuals with dementia are supported, enhancing their quality of life and fostering a greater understanding of this complex neurological condition.

Dementia poses an increasing challenge in today’s aging population, affecting millions of individuals worldwide and placing significant burdens on families, caregivers, and healthcare systems. Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon’s newly funded project, named “Purpose With A Passion: A Person-Centered Dementia Program,” seeks to bridge the gap by combining cutting-edge technology with compassionate care.

The grant, generously provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), recognizes Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon’s pioneering work to engage dementia residents in purposeful activity and boost the collective skillset of all staff to provide the highest quality of care for this population. Goals and outcomes are focused on three specific pillars: 1.) life stations and busy boxes designed to facilitate meaningful daily engagement; 2.) specialized dementia dining ware to encourage regular and healthy eating patterns; and 3.) customized dementia care training and certification for staff. Collectively implemented, these pillars will improve the facility’s culture around the disease and provide a safe and comfortable environment for dementia residents to age in place.

“Purpose With A Passion” leverages Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon’s strong foundation in dementia care to help develop a robust specialized memory care unit in the coming years. The community’s current dementia population comprises 40% of the total residents at the facility. Building upon the proven Montessori approach to dementia care, facility team members across all departments will incorporate “life stations” and specialized dining ware into daily activities while receiving robust dementia care training – all intended to ignite positive culture change and enhance quality of life for our dementia population.

“We are honored to receive this grant, which will enable us to develop a game-changing dementia care program,” said Tina Yakich, Administrator at Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon. “’Purpose With A Passion’ has the potential to not only transform the lives of those living with dementia and their families, but empower our caregivers with powerful tools and knowledge.”

Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon is committed to a person-centered approach, placing emphasis on improving the quality of life for those people living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in our care. As part of the project’s outcomes, the organization will work closely with healthcare professionals, dementia experts, and individuals with lived experience to ensure the program’s efficacy and appropriateness. As part of these outcomes, Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon anticipates a steady reduction of antipsychotic medication usage across our dementia population in concordance with reduced behaviors and an overall improved and more focused environment.

The “Purpose With A Passion” program is slated to begin development immediately, with an anticipated launch in late 2023. Transitions Healthcare North Huntingdon looks forward to making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals affected by dementia, as well as contributing valuable insights to the field of dementia care.

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