The Lodge at Bethany, an Assisted Living Community that offers services in Traditional Assisted Living and Secured Mem ory Care Assisted Living, as well as Respite Care, recently received two grants that will benefit residents and family members, staff and ultimately the community at large.
The first grant, presented at the end of August, came as a $20,000 grant from Alliant Health Solutions, and Alliant representatives and members of The Lodge’s Board of Trustees gathered at the facility to recognize the honor.
Funding from the grant will be used for staff training with Positive Approach LLC, an organization that provides training, continued education and consultation to organizations and individuals who choose to grow in dementia-related awareness, knowledge, skill and competence.
“The training is based on Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care philosophy,” said Becky Livingston, president and CEO of The Lodge at Bethany. “Ms. Snow is a leading advocate for those living with dementia and has made it her personal mission to help families and professionals better understand how it feels to be living with dementia-related challenges and change, and believes that her vision of Positive Approach training can make a difference in the lives of those who have dementia and those who are caring for someone with this disease.”
During the last year, The Lodge at Bethany has implemented and used the Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) with staff and community members to simulate and bring about an awareness of what a day in the life of a dementia patient might look like.
According to Livingston, more than 125 people in the community have taken part in the VDT, including the entire staff at The Lodge, the entire police force of Metter, many families of dementia patients, church members, Silver Lining Club members, Ogeechee Area Hospice staff and EGRMC staff.
Livingston said, “The expected result of this grant-funded training program is to take the VDT awareness of what it must be like to live with dementia and apply Teepa Snow’s proven philosophy and education that instills a person-centered approach, meeting the complex and unique needs of individuals using effective and structured techniques.
“Changing abilities of those with dementia and the education of staff and caregivers alike to recognize these changes and care for those individuals in the midst of the changes has always been the goal of the memory care provision of care at The Lodge at Bethany. The confidence that the staff will employ after this training and certification will distinctively allow the staff and caregivers alike to utilize these methods to the benefit of the residents and their families.”
Alliant representatives who came to Statesboro to present the generous gift were Dr. Dennis White, president and chief executive officer at Alliant Health Solutions, and Fred A. Watson, former executive director of the Georgia Health Care Association and a member of the Board of Alliant Health Solutions.
Livingston and Fred Watson worked together in the past when he served as Georgia Health Care Association President and visited Millen’s Bethany facility. “When I heard about Becky getting in this special VDT training, I encouraged her to apply for Alliant’s grant,” said Watson. “Becky is reaching out to the community to help them better understand dementia patients. To first responders, nurses, community members.”
Watson alluded to the Houston first responder rescues, specifically the televised nursing home rescues, and said, “Some of the nursing home residents, some of the elderly were confused. This type of training for first responders is invaluable in that type of situation.”
White, the current CEO of Alliant, pointed out a Statesboro connection to the Atlanta-based company. Former CEO Tom W. Williams, a Millen native, graduated from Georgia Southern University.
“A mission of our company is to make health care better,” said White. “The quality of health care in every setting is what we do.”
The company has given almost $4 million since its inception in the early 70s.
“This is a beautiful place,” said White of his first visit to The Lodge. “We love the concept, dealing with mental health, the Alzheimer’s piece, taking that on and making a difference.
“We all need more awareness. That whole stigma around mental health — we need to work on that. The biggest area of need in health care today is mental health. This grant will assist The Lodge in knowing how to respond to people with memory issues and mental and behavioral health care.”
Vanissa Campbell, RN, director of Education at The Lodge will facilitate the training and use of the grant money. Campbell said, “It’s a very practical approach to help give residents quality care. Learning to anticipate the needs of the patient will help us meet those needs. Like, getting in and out of the car may seem very simple, but to a person with dementia, it can be challenging, for both the dementia patient and the caregiver.”
Additionally, The Lodge at Bethany was awarded a grant from the Rotary Club of Statesboro in the amount of $3,025 for the specific use of purchasing a Life/form (registered trademark) Advanced GERi (registered trademark) Manikin.
“The Manikin offers skills practice in comprehensive patient-care and will allow us to better educate our staff regarding geriatric care and specifically to use as a more realistic, higher fidelity simulation during our Certified Medication Aide classes. This in turn will lead to a safer, high-quality, person-centered care for our residents,” Campbell said.
The Manikin features lifelike motion and provides for training in visual inspection of health issues particular to geriatric patients, like bedsores, and simulates patient care like bandaging, wound dressing and clothing changes.
“Becky Livingston is a member of our club, and we try to support our members and their endeavors. A Rotary board reviews all grant requests, and the board thought it was a very worthwhile cause to help the staff at Bethany to learn to apply their nursing skills in the best way possible,” said Charles “Chuck” Perry Jr., Rotary Club of Statesboro president.
The Rotary grant will be presented officially at the end of October.