Natick, Mass. – (August 31, 2015) – Natick Visiting Nurse Association (Natick VNA), the area’s premier free-standing, not-for-profit home health care agency, today announced that 25 of its clinicians have completed the Alzheimer’s Association Habilitation Therapy training to further their knowledgebase in caring for patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Completion of the training enables them to identify and care for individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other forms of dementia. The training was supported through a grant received by Natick VNA.
Topics covered in the training included Understanding Alzheimer’s & Dementia; Habilitation Therapy; Knowing & Understanding the Individual; Communication Skills; the Physical Environment and how it makes a difference; Personal Care; Purposeful Engagement; and more.
In their book, Dementia and Wandering Behavior: Concern for the Lost Elder, Nina M. Silverstein PhD, Gerald Flaherty and Terri Tobin PhDsay that “Habilitation therapy is a better understanding of the psychology of dementia – how a person thinks, feels, communicates, compensates, and responds to change, to emotion, to love – which may bring some of the biggest breakthroughs in treatment….”
With the rate of AD in the over-65 population skyrocketing, it is crucial that clinicians have the most up-to-date knowledge and understand how to best care for patients who have any form of dementia.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.3 million Americans suffer from AD. That number is expected to reach 16 million by 2050. In Massachusetts, AD was the sixth leading cause of death in 2012. Today, 120,000 people in Massachusetts have the disease, and by 2025, the Association projects that number will be 150,000.
Judith Boyko, MBA, MS, RN, CEO of Natick VNA, says that specialty training and clinician certifications are important facets of the agency’s plan to continue providing award-winning care for patients with specific conditions.
“As the number of people with AD increases, we are preparing our clinicians to provide the most appropriate care to patients with this degenerative condition. We also want our patients – both current and future – and their families to have peace of mind knowing that they and their loved ones are receiving care from clinicians who are armed with the latest research-based knowledge and best clinical practice standards,” said Boyko.
About Natick Visiting Nurse Association: Natick VNA, which serves more than 20 towns in MetroWest, is the area’s premier free-standing, not-for-profit home health care agency. The Natick VNA helps patients of all ages to stay out of the hospital and live with the fullest degree of independence in their own homes, while benefiting from the agency’s state-of-the-art home telemonitoring technology, ComfortCare palliative care program, cold laser therapy, and other advanced services.
Several members of the Natick VNA clinical team hold their certificates of completion for the Alzheimer’s Association Habilitation Therapy training they underwent to care for patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.