A Partnership Approach: Caring for Individuals with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

One in 10 people over the age of 65 and nearly 50 percent of people over the
age of 85 have Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the most common incurable
illness that causes dementia.At Mission Health Services they believe in taking
a partnership approach when caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s and

Spokesperson Marion Sodergren, RN, Director of Clinical Services at Mission
Health Services talks about a partnership approach to care for patients with

Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a condition that will affect
14 million Americans by the middle of this century.

Progress of the Illness
Those individuals with Alzheimer’s progress through 3 stages:
Early stage shows subtle changes and family reports less sparkle, less
initiative and drive, problems finding certain words, judgment problems,
difficulty making decisions and personality changes like being self-absorbed
and insensitive.
Mid stage shows behavioral changes like agitation, anxiety, pacing, poor or
failing memory of recent past, and difficulty with personal care activities.
Late stage shows people are unable to communicate, unable to care for self,
complete dependence on caregiver, loss of speech, and eventual shut down
of the body process.

Care of individuals with dementia at Alpine focuses on

1. Providingguidance and direction

The amount of guidance and direction depends on the stage that the
individual is in, they get helpwith each task they are trying to do. Late
afternoon and evening times are often more trying as the person tires, and
then they need more assistance.

2. Discovering and using each person’s abilities

As the person moves through the stages of cognitive decline we focus on
what they can do and not what they are unable to do. For individuals
specifically with Alzheimer’s, the joy of listening to music and singing can be
very healing. Alpine focuses on creating environments for music and singing.

3. Promoting each person’s dignity

We focus primarily on person centered care where the person directs, as
much as possible, how andwhen they receive care. Anticipating their needs is
very important and showing respect and dignity at all times.

4. Providing comfort and reassurance

We are positive, polite and enthusiastic as we provide care, we use
compliments, and warm interactions,close contact and music to provide a
safe and happy environment.

Mission Health Services Contact information:
Mission Health Services at Alpine Valley Care Center
25 East Alpine Drive
Pleasant Grove, UT

Phone: 855-At-Mission

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