Gianna Homes staff had the awesome opportunity to engage in a day full of learning, laughing, team building and dementia communication development. We were privileged to have Erin Bonito, MS ADC as our “Lead Coach” for the day. Erin is a nationally known presenter and expert in dementia care. She is renowned as the innovator of Life Enrichment Systems for Dementia, a dementia education, programming and skill coaching framework.

Our day started with the overview of dementia and the impacts on our residents’ ability to process new and old information and language. This was followed by great discussion around what an “Out of Character Response” is and how we as caregivers can respond to them without reacting negatively. We then learned two new approaches for those who have moderate to severe cognitive impairment and how we “Sparkle” and providing “Endorphin boosts” will impact the success of the approach. Our Director of Nursing, Katie was a good sport in learning the approach and practicing in front of the group.

Our day concluded with discussion around procedural memories and resident engagement in activities. We learned that activities don’t necessarily have to be scheduled and formal, but can be anything that adds pleasure, purpose, or peace throughout our residents’ days. This includes taking a moment to experience the pleasant aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee or feeling the texture of a new pair of PJs.

Staff left the training day feeling validated in the good work they already do and empowered to implement some new skills. MN Comprehensive License requires two hours of dementia training out of eight hours annually. Gianna Homes consistently goes above and beyond state requirements and training. This ensures the highest standard of care in our homes and staff feeling empowered to achieve excellence.

For more information on Erin Bonito, check out her website here.

For more information on a career at Gianna Homes, visit our careers page.