Victims of Dementi a; Services, Support, and Care Clemmer, W. New York: Harwortfi Pastoral Press, 1993, 161 pages, softcover.
This book is about the development and operation of Wesley Hall, a special living center for persons with memory impairment resulting from Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. It is located at the Chelsea United Methodist Retirement Home, in Chelsea, Michigan.
This book is written by William Clemmer, an Associate Professor of Education, who has an extensive background in administering and consulting for adult-care programs and retirement, as well as the author of several articles on mental health and education for the elderly. The purpose of this book is to celebrate a linking of Christian concern for the elderly with the best knowledge and practice of medicine and social science. Readers who are interested in developing a similar setting will find much of the discussion outlined helpful, including the aspects of the program that have or have not worked well.
Each of the 14 chapters emphasizes a special theme in the development, operation, and design of the special programs offered. The first chapter, entitled "A Christmas Eve," indicates the process of changes exhibited by one of the first 11 residents of Wesley Hall when he was moved from a long-term care hospital to this "nonthreatening and carefully structured environment, which enabled some of the best of what remained of his personality to reemerge."
The chapter entitled "The Process of Selecting Residents" highlights the importance of the belief that Wesley Hall was targeted for those victims of dementia who retain the potential to respond to interventions that are supportive of memory and cognitive functions. These are patients who have moderate dementia and who are losing cognitive and memory function because of the lack of stimulation and exercise of those functions.
The book concludes with a discussion of the experience of dementia for individuals, as well as how the staff achieved a therapeutic environment at Wesley Hall over the years. The materials incorporated in the appendixes provide additional information about the processes associated with the conception, construction, and daily operation of Wesley Hall.