It is likely many long-term care facilities are caring for residents with dementia in areas without special environmental adaptations. Lack of understanding of how to create a supportive setting combined with tight budgetary constraints keep many facilities from realizing the therapeutic benefits of a supportiveIy designed environment. The REMODEL (Resource for Evaluation and Modification of Dementia Environments for Living) project, funded by the National Institute on Aging, has developed a cost-effective way for long-term care facilities to assess the extent to which their physical environment supports the needs of residents with dementia and receive detailed recommendations on ways to modify their physical environments to better meet the needs of these residents.
The assessment protocol, accompanied by a training package, is designed to be easily completed by staff. The completed assessment then is analyzed using a program developed by experts in the field of environments for older adults. After the analysis is completed, a report is generated which details the strengths and weaknesses of the existing physical environment, and provides recommendations for moderate and low-cost modifications to better support the needs of residents with dementia. The report is accompanied by a comprehensive Resource Manual and staff training videotape to educate staff about strategies they can implement to create a more supportive care setting.
For more information or to order the REMODEL package, contact Margaret P. Calkins, PhD, President, IDEAS, 8055 Chardon Road, Kirtland, OH 44094, or call (440) 256-1880, or fax (440) 256-1881, or e-mail IDEASmpc@aol.com.