Reading, Writing & Arithmetic in Dementia Care

Deerview Haven has started a new program to help stimulate the prefrontal cortex of the brains on our Dementia Care Unit at MediLodge of Port Huron. In an effort to help retain and improve cognitive thinking skills, SAIDO based learning incorporates measurable activities that use reading, writing and math exercises. The program also includes a health shake to drink and physical exercise as well. Studies show that these types of exercises can help maintain and even restore functioning from baseline levels. Our own version of SAIDO training uses 3 levels of learning and takes place for 30 minutes per day. In small groups, the staff can administer the brain exercises and help encourage and praise participants to stay focused and engaged. The praise and encouragement is important. We do not want them to feel overwhelmed. There are no wrong answers to the exercises they do. These are exercises, not tests. Each exercise is tailored to the Lodgers’ personal level of cognitive function.

MediLodge of Port Huron

MediLodge of Port Huron

Measurements are made using the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) and the Frontal Assessment Battery Act Bedside (FABAB). These are widely accepted tests to establish baseline cognitive levels and help measure improvements. The prefrontal cortex is the executive officer of the brain. It is in charge of planning, decision making, and cognition. It orchestrates thoughts, actions and goals. After 6 months of participating in these brain exercises, participants will be measured again for signs of maintaining, improving or declining brain function.

At this time, our participating Lodgers are part of a pilot program. After the 6 month window, the program will be evaluated and considered for use on all our Dementia care patients.

Beth B., one of the participants has benefited from the program already. She states that she feels much more energized and has even asked to skip naps. She really enjoys the journaling aspects of writing. This form of writing takes advantage of reminiscing, which many patients enjoy. It helps them to put thoughts and feelings into words and creates engaging topics for discussion. Staff has found that working with these patients has helped with feelings of success and accomplishment. The exercises take place in a quiet classroom- like environment with no interruptions. This allows a peaceful environment to concentrate.

MediLodge of Port Huron

MediLodge of Port Huron

In the pictures shown, Beth and Millie work on math skills, adding small numbers, matching, number/letter recognition, journaling and reading out loud. Katie and other staff help participants and work with them to understand the concepts. Katie Markel has developed the activities and exercises for the program and is a cornerstone to the unit with her positive praise and encouragement. She likes that any staff member can use this simple program and be able to spend a short amount of time to help patients such as Beth and Millie. She is eager to see the results and hopefully open the program up to all the residents in the Unit. This program is just another way that MediLodge of Port Huron is helping our Lodgers to Recover, Rejuvenate, Revitalize and Return Home.

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For more information on locations and services, visit the MediLodge website.  Find us on Facebook for up-to-date pictures or watch our YouTube channel for videos of events and activities.

MediLodge of Port Huron

MediLodge of Port Huron

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