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Providence Living running dementia care pilot project ahead of new facilities opening

A new dementia care pilot project is getting good results and is expected to be implemented in a new care facility this summer.

Providence Living is doing the project in partnership with the UBC Centre for Advancing Health Outcomes – which is evaluating the care model. It was launched in January 2023 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox.

Providence Living says it is designed to prepare staff for the move to the new long-term care village, Providence Living at The Views this summer.

According to quality, practice and program development executive director Jennifer Gibson, the model is based on the concept of a dementia village. It aims to be a more person-centred, rather than an institutional approach.

“Within the social-relational model, the rhythms and patterns of the day are grounded in a person-centred approach and the residents drive the day,” said Gibson.

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“Instead of coming to work and reporting at a facility like a hospital, staff honour the concept of home. Teams work collaboratively, they support residents’ plans and goals for the day.”

Gibson says they have learned over the years that seniors “flourish” when they can maintain their independent and social connections along with routines.

The work they are doing with UBC is evaluating the impact of the pilot, and Gibson says the feedback has been positive so far.

“What we’ve heard is that the experience of being in the pilot is calmer and overall the staff are more satisfied with the way they are able to work in the pilot,” said Gibson. “There’s more controls in how residents are experiencing their day, and that’s true for family members as well.”

The pilot is preparing staff for how the care model will work when the new facilities are launched. Providence Living at The Views is expected to open this summer in Comox and will have 155 publicly funded beds and one private pay bed.

The model is expected to be used at all future Providence Living locations in B.C., and they will require workers to be trained on the new model as they are hired.

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