What is GENTLECARE(R)? What GENTLECARE(R) consists of GENTLECARE(R) Services & Resources

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What GENTLECARE(R) consists of

     MODULE A: Pathology, Philosophy, Paradigm
     MODULE B: Functional Assessment/Determining Strenghts & Defecits
     MODULE C: POWERPOINT Programs, Building the Prosthesis
     MODULE D: Nutrition for Energy and Performance
     MODULE E: HOMEMATCH: Designing Environments: Indoors and Outdoors
     MODULE F: Therapeutic Partnerships with Families, Volunteers & Community
     MODULE G: Making Change Happen!

Module A 

Pathology, Philosophy, Paradigm

 This module considers the philosophical basis of the GENTLECARE program. Participants are helped to understand the myths, attitudes and practices that shape current health care for this population. These attitudes are then compared with the alternative strategies of the GENTLECARE system.

 The GENTLECARE philosophy supports a strategy that adjusts the organizational environment in which the person with chronic dementing illness must operate.

 A prosthetic, or supportive living space is developed to accommodate the client regardless of his/her current functional ability.

 The focus of the GENTLECARE philosophy is on understanding the clinical implications of cognitive impairment, and becoming sensitive to the client's ecology, relationships and living context.

 Use of the GENTLECARE philosophy will assist staff and families to understand functional deficits in clients, anticipate difficulties and stressors, and avoid confrontation and crisis through support and creative problem solving.

 Staff are taught the pathology of primary degenerative dementia (such as Alzhiemer's disease), together with major psychiatric disorders, the resulting deficits and behaviours, and appropriate prosthetic responses.

 Module A introduces staff and family caregivers to the GENTLECARE way of developing and delivering health care....care that works both for the client and the caregiver.


Module B 

Functional Assessment/Determining Strengths & Deficits

 GENTLECARE(R) programs are based on knowledge of the functional strengths of the client. Assistance and therapeutic interventions are designed to support the person by compensating for lost skills. This approach permits each client to function at his/her maximum level of performance. Disability and dependency are reduced and catastrophic, problematic behaviour is less likely.

 The basic components of assessment and a variety of assessment tools and procedures will be covered. Participants will be shown how to incorporate assessment information into the daily living care plan of the client.

 Criteria for developing levels of service, staffing patterns and for determining admission to various programs will be discussed.


Module C

POWERPOINT Programs, Building the Prosthesis

 This module consists of the program components of the GENTLECARE system:

 STRESS PROFILES AND HOW TO USE THEM Participants learn how to recognize potential stressors in the client's life, and how to moderate or eliminate the impact of such stressors with therapeutic intervention. Successful intervention avoids the development of catastrophic behaviour.

 BEHAVIOUR MAPPING Participants learn how to map the client's 24 hour activity cycle. A good understanding of the client's activities is necessary in order to design and deliver programs, project staffing patterns and develop therapeutic interventions that help avoid stress and fatigue. Effective Mapping will permit the client to function at his/her maximum, and will enable staff to assist families in understanding the importance of timing, support, and activity programs.

 POWERPOINT PROGRAMMING Participants learn how to integrate effective programs for healthy living into the daily life of the person. The emphasis is on arranging activities in combinations that support the client's existing performance ability. POWERPOINT programs are client specific and must change in response to changes in the client's health. Participants are offered guidelines for the development and delivery of such programs, and examples of activities and how to implement them. In addition, suggestions on how to involve the family and volunteers are covered.

 DAILY LIVING CARE PLAN Participants will be helped to develop A Daily Living Care Plan for the client. This plan is aimed at coordinating the efforts of all staff, family and volunteers into an effective care schedule that really works - both for the client and the caregivers.


Module D 

Nutrition for Energy and Performance

 The damage caused by chronic mental illnesses to one's ability to access and enjoy food is explored. Strategies for assessing nutritional function, promoting self-feeding and preventing swallowing disorders are discussed. The vital role of nutrition in determining a person's energy quotient is proposed. Nutritional "boosts" or supplements are used to anticipate and prevent problematic behaviour. Guidelines for using nutrition throughout the 24 hour cycle are given, together with innovative ideas for presentation of food and dining environments.

 The ethical issues arising from artificial feeding at the end of the life cycle are addressed.


Module E 

HOMEMATCH: Designing Environments: Indoors and Outdoors

 Our understanding of the influence of architecture on persons who live within the health care system is rapidly expanding. This module of GENTLECARE examines the important link between living space and the quality of life for both the client and the care provider. The participants will gain a better understanding of the therapeutic potential of the physical environment.

 GENTLECARE(R) emphasizes development of living space that is simple, normal therapeutic and prosthetic. Module E explores ways of developing or modifying environments to meet this objective. Specific ideas for new construction and for the modification of existing structures will be explored. Suggestions regarding use of colour, furniture, decoration, activity, social opportunities, dining arrangements, outdoor space, walking areas, and supply services will be discussed.


Module F 

Therapeutic Partnerships with Families, Volunteers & Community

 The task of caring for persons with chronic mental dysfunction is challenging and very time consuming. This module of GENTLECARE is built on the theory that a shared burden, is a lighter burden, and promotes the development and ongoing contribution of family, volunteers and community organizations in a therapeutic partnership.

 With increased awareness of family caregiver burden. participants will learn communication and planning strategies that will help them extend family, volunteer and community networks.

 Model F also helps professional care providers understand and access vital and unlimited human resources. Recruitment and training strategies will be offered.


Module G 

Making Change Happen!

 Change occurs whether we want it to or not! GENTLECARE helps staff members and families to review current practices and form future interventions based on client needs, rather than outdated organizational patterns. The issues of staff empowerment, team building, family and community partnerships are discussed. Various ways to change organizational patterns and clinical practices help staff prepare for the 21st century.



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