Presbyterian Homes leader contributes new views in dementia care

Presbyterian Homes Vice President of Continuous Quality Improvement Mary Ann Anichini explains latest approaches to care for people with dementia in an update to a national online training program for professionals. | Submitted

Read the press release below for more information:

As research continues to seek a cure and better treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, so do approaches to better care continue to evolve. In an update to the CARES® online professional training programs offered by Minnesota-based HealthCare Interactive, Inc, Mary Ann Anichini, Presbyterian Homes vice president of quality improvement, contributed current views and vision for best practices in care for people with dementia in a videotaped interview.

“Care for individuals with dementia is now taking on a much more positive, person-centered approach,” says Anichini, who is a board certified geriatric nurse practitioner. “In the past, the focus was on managing the perceived problems or behaviors of people with dementia, rather than on the goal of helping them live a good life with meaning and opportunity for growth.”

Anichini continued, “Dementia does not affect the whole person. Many skills remain intact including the ability to love deeply and care for others. Even so, communication of needs becomes difficult as dementia progresses. Not being able to communicate needs effectively can lead to frustration, which may be expressed through challenging behavior. We need to enter their world and learn new ways of being present with people with dementia. In this way, we can better anticipate and meet their needs, helping them to maintain a sense of well being.”

The CARES Dementia Basics & Advanced Care™ online training program provides 10 hours of training for professional caregivers (skilled care, assisted living, and home care) and features video interviews with national experts in the field of care for people with dementia. CARES content reflects the evidence-based Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations developed in collaboration with more than 30 leading health and senior care organizations.

Upon completion of CARES training, caregivers may pursue an Alzheimer’s Association essentiALZ® certification and essentialALZ® Plus Dementia Advanced Care certification. The essentiaALZ certification program is an online individual certification program that recognizes knowledge of quality, person-centered care practices for people with dementia.

CARES Dementia-Related Behavior™ online training program and the Alzheimer’s Association essentiALZ Plus Dementia-Related Behavior exam offers a certification in knowledge of recognition, approach and key responses to dementia-related behavior. CARES Training is also available for families.

Anichini joined Lake Forest Place in 1997 as a geriatric nurse practitioner. She later became Director of Operation Excellence, a Presbyterian Homes evidence-based practice change initiative. She is active in the national Pioneer Network, an organization committed to changing the culture of aging and is considered a thought leader in the movement. She holds a Certificate in Human Performance Improvement from the American Society of Training and Development. Anichini has presented at multiple national conferences including Leading Age, Pioneer Network and the Alzheimer’s Association.

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