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Local Efforts to Train Caregivers for those with Dementia

Posted: 01.10.17

Local Efforts to Train Caregivers for those with Dementia

The Alzheimer’s Association, formed in 1980, has a mission to “advance research to end Alzheimer’s and Dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease.”   That mission can provide hope to the 35.5 million people in the world suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer’s according to the World Health Organization.  

“We have a responsibility to promote the Alzheimer Association’s mission,” stated Sandy Altman, Chief Operating Officer for The Brook Retirement Communities.  “We must be an advocate for specialized care for those suffering from forms of dementia.”   

In an effort to transition that responsibility into caregiving practices, The Brook has mandated that every staff member will complete the CARES training program for caregivers.   This program has a focus on understanding and providing person centered care, understanding changes that happen to thinking skills with a dementia diagnosis and progression of the disease, and how to understand behavior as a form of communication.   At the completion of the training program, each caregiver will need to successfully complete testing to receive their essentiALZ© Certification through the Alzheimer’s Association.   All Brook managers have already completed an Advanced CARES training program and have received their certifications.   Currently, about half of The Brook locations have implemented the training program with the goal of all Brook caregivers receiving certification within the first half of 2017.

The Brook Retirement Communities serves all of rural Michigan with locations serving Big Rapids, Boyne City, Cheboygan, Gaylord, Gladwin, Grayling, Houghton Lake, Newaygo, Roscommon & West Branch.  To learn more about our services, call us at 989 745-6500 or visit our website at

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