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SeniorCare News

Presbyterian SeniorCare Network is Walking to End Alzheimer’s!

August 15, 2017

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care and research. Thousands of people come together each year to walk – including team members, family members and partners of Presbyterian SeniorCare Network.

Presbyterian SeniorCare Network is participating in the walk as a regional sponsor. Each of our communities will be present at one of the five walks in our area.

Please consider volunteering a couple of hours on your Saturday morning to support a cause that is close to all of our hearts. Help us to grow our team, raise awareness, and end Alzheimer’s.

Register or donate to one of our teams:

To learn more about the living and care options across the Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, click here

Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Lifestyle Engagement Team Members Honored

August 9, 2017

Several members of the Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Lifestyle Engagement team, as well as two of our dedicated volunteers, were recently recognized by the Pennsylvania Therapeutic Recreation Society (PTRS) for their outstanding work and commitment to the recreation field.

  • Melissa Tomko, administrator at Woodside Place, the dementia-specific community at the Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Oakmont campus, was nominated and selected as the 2017 Distinguished Member for her dedication as a mentor that promotes person-centered philosophy and for her hands-on, quality leadership.
  • Sarah Kuhns, lifestyle engagement team lead, was nominated and recognized as the
    Outstanding New Professional. Sarah started with us as an intern at Longwood at Oakmont, our premier retirement community, and was immediately hired right out of school. She has demonstrated the ability to learn, implement new programs and build relationships with our
    independent living residents at the campus.
  • Kara Berringer, art therapist at the Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Oakmont campus, was recognized for the special event of the year for her ongoing art programs. Kara received the award because of her unique and innovative ways to reach our residents through art.
  • Ryan Satira, lifestyle engagement intern at the Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Oakmont campus, received a Student Scholarship Award for his motivation and dedication to learning more about the field and to working with diverse populations.
  • Drew and Will Kiev, volunteers (and brothers!) at the Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Oakmont campus, received the Volunteerism Award for their outstanding commitment to Presbyterian SeniorCare Network. Drew and Will help out 3-4 days per week assisting with outings, special events and intergenerational programs.

Congratulations to all of the winners of the PTRS Awards who were recognized at the PTRS annual conference in June.

Photo caption: Pictured here, the winners! L to R: Lynne Pomietlarz (PTRS) and Melissa Tomko; Sarah Kuhns and Haley Smith (PTRS), and Ryan Satira and Melissa Tomko.

Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Recognized for Innovation in Dementia Care

August 9, 2017

On June 21, 2017, Presbyterian SeniorCare Network was awarded the Innovation of the Year Distinguished Service Award by LeadingAge PA for our work in developing much needed educational sessions designed to assist emergency teams in the transitional care of residents with dementia.

The Distinguished Service Awards recognize people who give their time, talents and abundant energy to the field of aging and demonstrate a deep commitment to serving seniors.

LeadingAge PA is the association which represents Pennsylvania not-for-profit organizations that provide housing, healthcare and community services primarily to the elderly.

As part of our ongoing commitment to community outreach, our team of dementia coordinators from across the Network developed and implemented training modules that increased understanding and provided specialized techniques to improve care for individuals living with dementia. These modules were utilized to educate registered nurses in the ER, nursing units and quality improvement teams at hospitals as well as first responders such as local fire and police departments and EMS teams.

Our teams taught dementia basics, how to recognize common behaviors and how to handle them, effective communication and how to effectively work with families. A large part of this initiative was the creation of a “resident history” form that outlines what causes anxiety, their likes and dislikes, how they may react in particular situations, and phrases that they find calming. The form accompanies the resident during transitions from a Presbyterian SeniorCare Network community to the hospital.

Pre- and Post-tests were given to those who participated in the training. The results reflected 100% improvement in comfort level and/or competency when interacting with individuals living with dementia. Our teams continue to replicate these education efforts at local hospitals and amongst first responders, proving our commitment to being socially accountable and to sharing our dementia expertise.

Realizing the Impact of Our Work: A Testimonial

Kathy Otruba, RN, EMT-B, NASR Tech II, Commander, Lower Kiski Search and Rescue Team: “The Lower Kiski Search and Rescue K-9 Team was looking for a seminar on how to better communicate and approach a lost person who is living with dementia. We reached out to Presbyterian SeniorCare Network and our request was met with infectious enthusiasm. Their innovative and informative program met our expectations and more. We were given invaluable information and creative approaches to interact with someone who is lost and has dementia. The hands-on role playing of various scenarios enabled us to interact and cement our new knowledge. We look forward to working with Presbyterian SeniorCare Network in the future to better serve our community by presenting this mutually beneficial program to other local Search and Rescue teams.”

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