The new philosophy of dementia treatment is Mainline Media News

Most people experience feelings of despair when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. But it should not be so.

According to Dr. John Zeisel, a world-renowned expert on dementia treatment and innovation: “With some work, we can adopt a sense of hope.”

Last month, Zeisel was at The Highlands in Wyoming in Berks County to talk to residents as well as community members.

Zeisel delivered a keynote address during the first Symposium on Impact on Society to highlight a new philosophy of memory care called the “I’m Still Here” approach.

“It was an honor to attend this groundbreaking symposium,” said Zeisel, co-founder and CEO of Hearthstone Alzheimer Care. “The educators shared their stories, and I shared the lessons I learned over the years of working in the field.

“My main message is that significant involvement – not just throwing the ball back and forth – is a real cure for disability in dementia. Interaction replaces four Alzheimer’s diseases – anxiety, agitation, aggression and apathy. Methods are available for the successful implementation of the basic form of interaction with those living with dementia, conversation.

Although dementia is a common disease, it is also often misunderstood. During the event at The Highlands, the program included activities to simulate dementia to raise awareness and empathize with the challenges that older people face in the world with dementia.

On the left, Dr. Yves Kimball, Doris Gracie-Moore and Ardel Negl wear glasses to simulate impaired vision during a dementia program in the Highlands of Wyoming. (courtesy of The Highlands of Wyoming)

People were able to mimic visual impairments by wearing glasses that mimic vision loss, noisy headphones to create distracting sounds and repeat hearing loss, and special gloves to mimic decreased sense of touch.

Left Emma Hefner, David Thun and Barbara Thun participate in a dementia program in the Highlands of Wyoming. (courtesy of The Highlands of Wyoming)
From left to left, Robert Duczynski, Carol Duczynski, Marjorie Miller, Janet Ustaszewski and Richard Odenweler are participating in a dementia program at The Highlands in Wyoming. (courtesy of The Highlands of Wyoming)

The Alzheimer’s Association says that by 2050, the number of Americans with dementia will exceed 13.8 million, slightly more than the current population of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

As the number of people grows and so does the need for more people to understand how to support those living with dementia.

“You see your loved one as he is, and you realize that you can make a positive difference in their lives.” – said Zeisel, whose book “I’m still here: a new philosophy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease” is available to most major online retailers.

Highlands aims to be a nationally recognized leader in healthy aging as part of its goal to offer the highest quality of life to its residents.

The priority in these efforts is to provide an environment that is constantly improving as the new science of health develops. The main focus of healthy aging is the memory aid.

“Doctor. Seisel has used his experience and imagination over the years to create a “I’m Still Here” approach that is filled with the principles that underlie the philosophy of caring for The Highlands at Wyomissing, ”said Kevin P. DeAcosta, President and CEO. The Highlands.

The “I’m Still Here” approach is a progressive memory care program designed to improve the quality of life of older people with dementia through non-pharmacological “eco-psychosocial” interventions.

Zeisel, a sociologist with experience in design, focuses on interventions in care with an emphasis on the physical environment and participation. He is the author of numerous scientific papers on treatment alternatives that do not depend on conventional pharmaceutical therapy.

Highlands has established two partnerships to fulfill its commitment to offering cutting-edge memory care. These relationships include research and educational relationships with the University of Drexel and the implementation of the progressive memory care program “I’m Still Here” for Aspire Memory Support from the Hearthstone Institute.

“Highlands and Drexel’s collaboration will focus on improving the quality of life of older people and their carers – family members and official providers – through the prevention or management of chronic diseases, improving active and focused living and resolving aging,” he said. DeAcosta. “In addition, both organizations seek to disseminate and implement sound evidence, high-quality memory care programs in the Highlands, while serving as a model for informing areas of excellence in dementia treatment.”

“The Hearthstone Institute is happy to work with The Highlands to make sure the residents of the memory support, as well as the residents of the entire beautiful campus, have achieved the well-being they deserve,” Seisel said.

Too many people, Seisel said, see a diagnosis of dementia in a family member as a source of anxiety. excitement, aggression and apathy.

“But it doesn’t have to be that way,” Zeisel said. “With the ‘I’m still here’ philosophy, you begin to see the person as he is today and appreciate the abilities they still offer.”

Kevin P. DeAcosta is the President and CEO of The Highlands in Wyoming.

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