This September, the Peconic Landing retirement community celebrated their receipt of CPI’s Dementia Care Specialists Distinguished Provider recognition, after opening Harbor South for Memory Support—a person-centered, memory care neighborhood.
Staff spent several months preparing for an in-depth review of their community, which culminated in a special ceremony this fall acknowledging their achievement. Assisted living administrator Jennifer Ackroyd acknowledged that the process took vision, strategy, and commitment from staff members across the board—a challenging and rewarding process. Ackroyd and executive vice president Greg Garrett also cited house manager Laura Rutkowski’s critical prep work as instrumental in supporting their audit process—this vital team member came on board several months prior to the opening of Harbor South.
“Peconic Landing radiates with energy—a life energy—and you don’t feel that kind of energy in many places,” remarked CPI’s chief customer officer, Marvin Mason, who attended the recognition ceremony in September. “I was exceptionally impressed by the attentiveness and engagement of every staff member I encountered.” He concurred with the Peconic Landing staff that Dementia Capable Care training provides a valuable structure to the quality of their caregiving. “Dementia Care Specialists have a similar philosophy to us,” Jennifer Ackroyd remarked. “We were thinking the same way.”
Sharon Jackson, senior consultant with Dementia Care Specialists, was effusive in her praise for Harbor South’s connection to their cause. “The Harbor South team is amazingly dedicated. They understand the importance of educating all their staff, and they work hard to fine tune those skills until they are mastered. They are organized and efficient and ensure they are communicating with each other, their members, and the members’ families. They do this because this is what they love.”
Some of Harbor South’s accomplishments as a Distinguished Provider include:
  • Substantially increased engagement in activities of daily living by members who moved to Harbor South from other communities—one member’s engagement improved by 1,270%
  • Ongoing efforts to eliminate the use of antipsychotics—one member’s mini mental score improved from 20 to 24 with a reduction in Risperdal dosage
  • 3 staff members certified as Dementia Capable Care trainers
  • Below-average diagnosis rates of UTI’s and weight loss pertaining to early stage dementia, and exceptionally low rates of wandering/elopement
  • 100% of respondents to a family member survey agree that “I have seen a positive change in my loved one’s behavior and demeanor” at Harbor South

“Dementia changes the way you live and the way you perceive things,” said Jennifer Ackroyd. “How you approach and communicate with each individual is key in helping them find purpose and engaging them to live each day to the best of their ability.” Said Greg Garrett, “It is amazing to see the transformations that are taking place. Our members are more alert, engaged, and making the most of life with their neighbors.”
With this recognition, Peconic Landing becomes the only community in the state of New York to achieve Distinguished Provider status, setting the bar high for their peers. Their vision of a dementia capable society is not only inspiring but profoundly encouraging, because with their achievement, they show that it is possible to create a community that awakens the potential of all individuals, no matter where they find themselves in life. What’s particularly striking about their achievement is the way that they have empowered so many individuals to reconnect to their energy—their life energy—in such meaningful and positive ways.