THe Wesley Community as seen from the air. A series of buildings, including two 14 story towers, surrounded by an abundance of green areas.

The Wesley Community to expand dementia care capabilities

Seeking to expand its dementia care capabilities campus-wide, The Wesley Community has embarked on a training and activity center program that is funded in part by a $15,000 grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust.

The grant will help The Wesley Community train key staff, known as Dementia Champions, using the Buddies Forever Dementia Communication Coaching model developed by Gemini Consulting. The grant will also enable The Wesley Community to establish the Alfred Z. Solomon Therapeutic Activity Center Program for residents with dementia in appropriate areas of the campus.

“Although a floor dedicated to dementia care is already in place in the Victoria building at the Wesley Health Care Center, the reality is that residents suffering from dementia in its various stages can be found throughout our campus,” said Brian Nealon, CEO of The Wesley Community. “The training and therapeutic programs will improve the quality of care provided by our staff and enhance the recognition and understanding of residents with dementia. We are grateful for the support of The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust to help fund this important initiative.”

The Buddies Forever Dementia Coaching and Training will help staff learn how to provide persons with dementia the gifts of pleasure, purpose and peace, while making measurable impacts on clinical and operational goals for their care. The Dementia Champions will share their training and knowledge with staff throughout the various entities that make up The Wesley Community. The interdisciplinary training will begin in March and include various levels of staff, including nursing, housekeeping and nutritional services.

The Alfred Z. Solomon Therapeutic Activity Center Program will offer strength-based stations that are specific to an individual’s level of functionality and interests. Residents can visit these stations to hold and use props that are familiar, everyday objects designed to engage the mind, including jewelry, sewing materials, tools and puzzles.

The first Alfred Z. Solomon Therapeutic Activity Center Program will be designed for and implemented on the second floor of the Victoria building at the Wesley Health Care Center, which is a dedicated dementia unit. Over time, variations of the Alfred Z. Solomon Therapeutic Activity Center Program will be implemented throughout The Wesley Community.

In addition, The Wesley Community plans to conduct a series of community lectures and dementia screenings that will be open to the public. Dates and times will be announced in the future.

The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust was established to benefit non-profit scientific, medical, educational, cultural, religious and charitable organizations by funding projects and programs in memory of the Trust’s founder, Alfred Z. Solomon. Mr. Solomon was a leader in the fashion industry, a horse racing enthusiast and a philanthropist from Gansevoort, NY and New York City.