Dementia Friendly Massachusetts - Senior Living Residences
Senior Living Residences (SLR) is an owner and management company of 12 assisted living residences in Massachusetts, including 8 specialty residential neighborhoods treating those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.
In 2014, SLR launched a Dementia Friendly initiative to advance education and understanding about dementia and ultimately help to destigmatize the affliction. SLR created multisensory training programs and made them available to anyone, for free, in order to teach community members and families, elder care professionals (SLR’s best referral sources), emergency responders, hospital workers and municipal employees about dementia and its causes.
The Dementia Experience is an intense, interactive training that uses sensory modifications and role playing activities to build empathy and understanding for those with dementia. Participants are asked to reenact typical daily activities such as taking medications and preparing meals. Staff have reached out to area Police and Fire Departments, local hospitals, ambulance companies, schools, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and town and city halls to offer this training at no charge. Additionally, SLR developed a continuing education course, guided group discussions, an emergency department kit for hospitals, online resources and caregiver support groups.
As a result, SLR ended 2015 with 99.2% occupancy across all 8 memory support properties and reached more than 500 new professional referral source contacts. Press coverage led directly to move-ins and increased visibility in several key market areas. The program trained more than 2,000 people across Massachusetts including families, caregivers, emergency responders, students, municipal staff, hospital workers, nurses, private businesses, and elder care professionals and trained their 800 employees. SLR anticipates training more than 3,000 people in 2016 about this important issue.