Abilities Care Training Success for Milestone and Sunstone Markets

Submitted by Elyse Matson, MA CCC-SLP, Speech Resource
On a recent Saturday in Lehi, Utah, nearly 80 therapists gathered to fulfill our mission to “dignify long-term care in the eyes of the world.” Our amazing team of facilitators included Kelly Alvord, PT; Amanda Grace, OT,; Patty Fantauzzo, COTA/DOR, representing the IDT process; and Elyse Matson, SLP. Milestone and Sunstone leaders Gary Mcgiven and Asa Gardine did an amazing job gathering such a strong group on a Saturday and of course keeping everyone well-fed for the day.

Although the course trainers have taught this course many times, it was truly one of the most inspiring discussions about dementia care! Adding the IDT approach meant great questions and discussion from nursing partners about topics like care planning and the use of the Kardex as well as Quality Measures.
Patty Fantauzzo, who comes from an all-dementia facility, always has amazing examples of personalized dementia care, including cohorting of similar ACL leveled residents, training every member of the facility staff about Allen levels using a lanyard and card with ACL levels, and the use of a shadow box system for personalization of resident spaces.

The breakout sessions allowed therapists from each discipline to delve into the program from their perspective. For example, the SLPs discussed the use of communication support in this population as well as how simple communication tasks can greatly improve the interaction between residents with dementia and caregivers.

The course was made better by all who attended! Thank you so much for an amazing day.