Dementia Care Training in Florida Memory Care Communities

Choosing the right memory care community involves many factors, but nothing could be more important than the quality of care provided to your loved one.

For people with dementia, a higher standard of care leads to a higher quality of life. But the quality of care they receive depends largely on the qualifications and training of caregivers. With specialized training, caregivers in memory care communities are better prepared to meet the unique needs of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms.

Keep reading to find out how Serenades Memory Care’s approach to dementia care training can lead to transformative change in the life of your loved one.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Training Standards in Florida

While training requirements for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers vary, all states require some form of training. In Florida, state statutes specify staff training and education requirements for assisted living and memory care communities.

The Assisted Living Facility Core Training and Competency Requirements are detailed in Florida State Statutes Chapter 58. It requires assisted living facilities that provide care to people with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) receive 4 hours of training within three months of employment. This training is called Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (Level I) and provides basic instruction on the characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease.

Florida Statutes further state that facility staff who provide direct care to residents with ADRD must obtain an additional 4 hours of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (Level II) training within 9 months of employment. These additional four hours provide supplemental instruction on behavior management.

The Training Gap in Memory Care

Clearly eight hours of training is a relatively short time commitment to learn about a complex and widely misunderstood brain disease. In fact, state training requirements for dementia care do not begin to address the vast body of work published on the disease. Over the past decade, scientists have gained significantly more understanding about Alzheimer’s disease, including the neuroscience behind musical memory.

Even the state of Florida has pointed out training shortcomings. Florida’s 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan identified a need to establish enhanced training requirements for greater consistency. One of the key goals in the plan is to build a competent Alzheimer’s disease workforce through education and training to help close the gap on critical needs related to the future of Alzheimer’s disease.

Until such time, training caregivers and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in memory care communities remains discretionary beyond the minimum legislatively mandated eight hours.

Dementia Care Training Curriculum in Florida

Dementia care training curriculum also varies by state. Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs is the governing body that approves training curriculum, and the University of South Florida is the designated contractor for administering the state-mandated Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Training curriculum.

Training curriculum also varies by community and lacks continuity. Some training modules emphasize evidence-based care practices while others apply research-based approaches. Some use proprietary training programs while others have invested in nationally acclaimed programs.

Additional certification programs are offered for specialists. A Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) is awarded to those caregivers who have met the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP) requirements for education. Caregivers with CDP certification have comprehensive knowledge of dementia care and brain disease and serve in leadership roles in memory care communities.

Why Training Matters

Licensed assisted living providers who provide memory care are responsible for ensuring that caregiver training requirements are met. Some memory care communities, including Serenades Memory Care by Sonata, have gone above and beyond the state requirements to ensure the highest level of care and outcomes for their residents.

While some assisted living memory care communities require the minimum state-mandated training of their staff, Serenades Memory Care provides intensive, ongoing instruction using nationally recognized, research-based care practices. The supplemental training emphasizes the science behind Alzheimer’s disease. Instruction on topics ranging from behavior and medication management to engagement strategies are provided by specialists who have developed advanced techniques that can improve the delivery of care.

This form of enhanced training has been proven to make a significant difference in the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by enhancing foundational understanding of brain disease among staff.

Going Above and Beyond at Serenades

That’s not all. Serenades Memory Care provides continuous ongoing training to help employees grow professionally and leverage new findings in the field of Alzheimer’s research.

Serenades’ person-directed approach to care encourages residents to make decisions about their individual routines, leading to transformational change in their behavior and wellbeing. Using the Teepa Snow Positive Approach To Care (PAC), Serenades teaches caregivers how to respond and react when presented with confusing symptoms characteristic of the disease.

Staff training at Serenades exceeds state mandated training requirements by as much as 20 hours of initial training and additional training each month. This commitment to education assures the highest standards of care are met at all Sonata Senior Living communities:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Level I and Level 2 Training
  • Orientation by a certified dementia practitioner on person-directed care
  • Policy training on emergency preparedness and Sonata’s signature programs At Your Service and Sonata Safe
  • An additional 8 hours of education on person-directed care techniques
  • An additional 1-4 hours of online training each month on select topics uniquely suited to Alzheimer’s and dementia care

Sonata also provides caregivers with specialized training in its signature Duets program, which uses the positive effects of music to improve memory, cognition and mood.

To find out if you or your loved one qualify for memory care, take this quiz.

Foundation Leader Training

At Serenades, training trickles down to every team member to ensure continuity of care at every resident interaction.

Serenades’ directors have received certification in Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care® (PAC). The PAC-certified directors train others within the organization as Foundation Leaders to assure greater understanding about dementias at every touchpoint, including dining services and maintenance staff. This is what ultimately defines a “dementia competent” community.

According to Director of Team Development and Training Julie Fernandez, Foundation Leader training exists as a form of supplemental education that ensures our communities are dementia competent by training every member of staff.

“Our foundation leaders work with individual caregivers to impart skills based on whatever level of understanding they have about Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.
Most importantly, our team members know that behavior caused by Alzheimer’s and dementia is not bad, but rather a result of what is happening in the brain.

Most importantly, our team members know that behavior caused by Alzheimer’s and dementia is not bad, but rather a result of what is happening in the brain.

Schedule a Tour of Serenades Memory Care

We’d love to share more about Serenade’s person-directed approach to memory care. Our specially trained caregivers combine research-based principles with stimulating life enrichment activities that help our residents maintain independence and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Call a Serenades Memory Care Community near you to schedule a personal tour and overview.

To learn more about Serenades Memory Care, contact us today→ or schedule a visit →

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