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VA Raises the Standard of Care for Vets With Dementia

VA Raises the Standard of Care for Vets With Dementia
I’m so happy to announce that we have developed a wonderful partnership with the Veterans Administration (VA).
 
Back in 2012, we presented our Dementia Capable Care training at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center in Pennsylvania. Twenty-three staff members participated in our Foundation Course and Care Partner Applications Course, and seven staff members participated in our train-the-trainer Instructor Program.
 
Those seven staff members are now Dementia Capable Care Certified Instructors who train their coworkers in our strategies for delivering a higher standard of dementia care. The team at the facility loved the programs and even put their own video together, demonstrating their pride and excitement in the training.
 
As a result of the passion, innovation, and leadership of this first group, we now have the opportunity to offer our trainings to 53 VA facilities across the country. This partnership is part of the VA’s innovation initiative to ensure that our veterans have access to meaningful and effective services.
 
When a person who has dementia has served in the military, particularly in a combat capacity, decades-old memories may re-emerge as their disease progresses. Some of those memories might be related to traumatic experiences, and many of those memories can come back rather vividly. This can trigger deep emotional wounds for the person, which can result in challenges for care staff.
 
Yet when care partners have a strong understanding of the stages of dementia, as well as skills to address emotional and behavioral issues with respect and compassion, they can help improve quality of life for veterans with dementia.    
 
We are delighted to partner with these VA facilities to help our veterans with dementia use their remaining abilities to maintain a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and contentment throughout every stage of the disease.
 
My mission is to create a Dementia Capable Society through a network of passionate individuals, facility leaders, and other advocates. I’m so proud of the staff at Wilkes-Barre and of all of our partners for working so hard to make a difference. I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to work toward creating a world in which those living at all stages of dementia can thrive—and their care partners, families, and friends can be guided and supported throughout their journey.

I can only urge you to become a part of our cause. Together, we will stop the suffering and start the flourishing.
 
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