Provide ALL Seniors in need of specialized dementia care, regardless of financial ability, access to choice in dementia care.
Restoring Dignity to Those with Dementia
A JOURNEY FROM PAIN TO PASSION
Myname is Judy Berry, and I live in rural MN and my "Passion" is to make a significant contribution to Changing the Face of Dementia Care in our society and to be an advocate for all seniors with dementia in their quest to
maintain their Basic Human Right to Dignity, Choice and Quality of Life until their death.
My own mother, Evelyn Holly, passed away 16 years ago and spent the last 7 years of her life being bounced from one nursing home or residential dementia facility to another and in and out of hospital geri-psych units, because of her
so called "challenging and aggressive behavior". The last year of her life she spent, strapped in a chair and drugged to make her "compliant" in her environment.
I imagine many of you have had similar experiences.
Click on this link to view a video on the personal struggle that fueled my passion. http://www.dementiacarefoundation.org/history.htm
After many years of heartache and frustration struggling to find appropriate care for my own mother, and after being told repeatedly by others in the healthcare industry, that the kind of dignified care that I visualized, was impossible since it was TOO EXPENSIVE, I found I could not find any financial support for trying something different.
I decided to use my own life savings to try to develop a model of specialized dementia care that would focus on the currently unmet emotional and spiritual needs of persons with dementia.
I left my job as a Regional Sales Manager for a BBQ Rib company, and at 55 became the founder, owner and CEO of Lakeview Ranch Inc., a place where people with dementia, and their families, could call home and where they could live out their lives with the love, dignity, choice and the quality of life they deserve.
Today we have 2 rural residential homes in MN, with 80 highly skilled staff that provide very specialized dementia care that meets our resident's emotional and spiritual needs in addition to their physical needs. We focus on each resident's remaining abilities, allowing for the highest quality of life possible, while maintaining dignity and individual choice.
Using the Lakeview Ranch Model of Specialized Dementia Care®, loyal staff provides each resident the tender, gentle care I had hoped to find for my own mother. This
model is based on meeting the individual needs of each resident, thus restoring their dignity, and incorporates:
1. High staff-resident (1:3) direct care ratios,
2. Extensive staff training (using specialized curriculums), with ongoing mentoring & staff support.
3. In house direct RN monitoring for individualized, proactive disease management and direct & comprehensive care coordination with the residents, families, physicians, Social Services etc.
4. Appropriate activities that target each resident's remaining ability including Extensive Animal Therapy, Music and Art Therapy.
5. Compassionate, palliative end of life support for both the resident and family.
From the beginning I have chosen to serve ALL persons with dementia regardless of their financial ability. When I knew I could no longer supplement The Medicaid payment gap, out of my own personal savings, and realizing the government would only pay about 1/3 of what it costs to do this appropriate level of care, I had to find another way!
I refused to cut the staff levels and specialized training that were critical to this alternative & innovative model, AND chose Not to limit services to only wealthy private pay persons.
I knew there had to be another vehicle to raise the money necessary to continue this kind of care. The Dementia Care
Foundation, a MN non-profit 501c3 was born to provide the necessary Medicaid gap funding.
Since its inception in 2000, the Dementia Care Foundation has provided over $1million dollars in supplemental funding to ensure EQUAL ACCESS to low income seniors on
Medicaid to this appropriate high quality model of specialized dementia care.
By changing the appropriation of healthcare funding from reactive models of dementia care that focus on managing & treating symptoms to proactive models that provide appropriate & high quality specialized dementia-care,
that validate each person’s humanity, feelings and emotional needs, we reduce the illness burden to our loved ones and help them experience a happier, safer, more secure end-of-life journey.
It is truly amazing what can be accomplished when people with vision and passion work together!!!