Florida has strict requirements for those who work directly with people who have dementia and Alzheimer’s. But there are some Florida memory care communities that see the state’s extensive training requirements as merely the starting point for providing the highest level of care.

In honor of National Nurses Week, today we salute the Florida caregiver communities that go above and beyond to help their residents — and the people who love them — feel more secure, comfortable and empowered.

Florida Dementia Care Options

In addition to the high training standards for providing dementia care in Florida, some specialized communities, including Serenades by Sonata, provide training on Teepa Snow’s acclaimed Positive Approach™ to Care, which has attained the highest national certification for the treatment of dementia.

Credentials offered by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners recognizes the highest national standards in Alzheimer’s and dementia education and is founded in research.

The Difference a Dementia Certification Makes

After completing the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners’ rigorous training, nurses and caregivers have a deeper understanding of how dementia affects the brain.

Compared to those who only undergo the required Florida dementia care training, they’re more empowered to ensure every resident receives the highest, most compassionate level of care. They also realize that each resident has unique needs based on the parts of their brain that have been impacted by the disease.

If a resident demonstrates undesired behavior caused by dementia, these knowledgeable nurses and caregivers don’t react or take the actions personally. Instead, they understand that dementia can damage the nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes — which control behavior and personality — and respond to the resident’s distress with more compassion and efficacy.

If a resident refuses to speak, Certified Dementia Practitioners understand that the parts of the brain associated with speech have likely been compromised. They’re aware that this can cause a sense of embarrassment about being unable to find the right words to say. Professional caregivers with extensive dementia training are empowered to interact with the resident in the kindest and most empathetic way to ease their stress and discomfort.

Certified Dementia Practitioners are also knowledgeable of how the disease continues to change the brain as symptoms advance. This allows them to be proactive in helping each resident remain independent for as long as possible.

“This training gives caregivers a deeper awareness of what’s happening to each resident to provide a more detailed and personalized level of care,” said Julie Fernandez, CALA, CDP, CADDCT, CPT, the director of team development and training at Sonata Senior Living.

Better Dementia Care for Florida Families

Residents aren’t the only ones who may benefit from this research-based approach to specialized memory care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia in Florida.

When your loved one is in the care of a Certified Dementia Practitioner at a memory care community, the needs of the family are addressed with the same level of expertise and empathy.

Certified caregivers take the time to share their deep knowledge of the brain to explain why symptoms of memory loss and confusion persist. They share tips on how to interact with your loved one in the most effective manner to ensure each visit is as meaningful and positive as possible. They’re also there to remind you that you’re doing everything right.

When you are caring for someone with dementia, each day may bring a completely new set of challenges due to the unpredictability of the disease. Certified dementia care experts have developed a practical guide for managing the negative symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia at home to help Florida families and those in their care arm themselves with essential knowledge and support that professional caregivers use in everyday practice.

“Often, families think they’re doing something wrong or they feel powerless to watch how the condition is changing their loved one,” said Fernandez. “When they speak with someone who has a deep knowledge of dementia and Alzheimer’s, the guilt starts to dissolve. It also opens their eyes. They see Mom’s still Mom, she’s just different now, and they learn to adjust their expectations and actions to have more meaningful interactions.”

For more information on Sonata’s senior living communities, call a community near you today to schedule a visit →

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