By Kaylee Lindenmuth | firstname.lastname@example.org
SHENANDOAH - The Shenandoah Senior Living Community on East Washington Street was recognized today for its partnership with the Alzheimer's Association Greater Pennsylvania Chapter.
This afternoon, a group of community members and residents of the facility gathered in the dining hall for a plaque presentation.
"Today is a celebration of accomplishment, a celebration of partnership," said Jeff Dauber, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Alzheimer's Association. "It's a celebration of how many people we've been able to impact in and around Schuylkill County through this partnership."
Dauber explained that 5.8 million people in the country suffer from Alzheimer's and dementia.
"There are also 16.1 million unpaid caregivers. That's not us, a facility, or agencies. That's family, friends, as caregivers, so the impact isn't just 5.8 million people that have it, it's over 22 million people that are directly impacted by this disease," said Dauber. "That's why we talk about the larger impact."
Dauber also added that, as the baby boomer generation ages, their risk of developing Alzheimer's or dementia increases, and more are expected to be impacted.
"Partnerships for us, as an organization, are really important," said Dauber. "If there's only one of me for 14 counties, how do we get out there to get other people mobilized to get the word out about awareness, about what services are available."
About a year ago, the Alzheimer's Association partnered with the Shenandoah Senior Living Community, and for the past three, they have had a team in the Schuylkill County Walk to End Alzheimer's, set this year for September 7. According to Renee Buchanan, admissions and marketing director, Shenandoah Senior Living Community is the only facility in the county which partnered with the Alzheimer's Association. As of time of publication, the facility's team has raised the most money of any in advance of the walk, raising $1,678.
Dauber specifically highlighted the efforts of Desiree Dunleavy, an LPN and Certified Dementia Practitioner at the facility, in assisting the Alzheimer's Association.
"[Desiree] had interest in helping with education," said Dauber, saying she attended the association's master trainer course. "The next day, she started sending me information about people she started training."
Dunleavy also volunteered to serve as a community educator.
"Not only is she an internal trainer, but she also has the ability to go out as what we call n Alzheimer's Association Community Educator, into the community and offer programs to the general public," said Dauber. "Through her efforts and the efforts of Shenandoah Manor, we have been able to train over 170 employees. That is 170 people who have gotten direct care training so they can improve the quality of care."
Reading from a prepared statement prior to the plaque presentation, Dauber said, "Shenandoah Senior Living is committed to developing their programs to better define quality care across all care settings while working with individuals and their families throughout their Alzheimer's diagnosis. Shenandoah Senior Living is leading the way with the implementation of evidence-based dementia care and they provide high quality care for those living with dementia. The Greater Pennsylvania Chapter would like to honor Shenandoah Senior Living for their implementation of habilitation therapy training."
Following the plaque presentation, Dunleavy said, "I am very honored and excited that we did receive this award at the facility. When you love what you do, it doesn't seem like work, and I do love giving everybody tips on how to treat our residents better."
"It makes me feel good when I do walk down the hall and I see what I teach to our staff used every day," Dunleavy concluded.
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