Over the last year, you may have heard Plymouth Harbor reference the Community Education Program we plan to offer as a part of our new Memory Care Residence. It is our goal to offer education and training on dementia and brain decline to the greater Sarasota community, demystifying and normalizing the behaviors associated with dementia-related diseases. As we approach our Grand Opening date, we wanted to share with you some details on how we plan to implement this much-needed program.

Introductory Presentations
One-time presentations will be made to community groups, such as service organizations, Chambers of Commerce, civic groups, and faith-based organizations with basic information on the different types of dementia, community resources available, in-home care vs. residential care, and what to expect throughout the journey. These presentations will open the door to the possibility of a workshop series, residential care, or one-on one training for those who have an immediate or emerging need for further assistance.

Workshops
A series of small group workshops will be held in easy-to-access community locations, such as churches or community centers, with experts in the field of caregiving and providing support for the caregivers themselves. The topics will rotate, building on the skills needed to care for a person with brain decline: such as handling difficult behaviors, nutrition and cooking, emergency planning, and more.

One-on-One Training
Plymouth Harbor offers short-term rehabilitation in the Smith Care Center. Frequently, those short-term residents are experiencing brain decline and are discharged to their private homes at the end of the rehab under the care of a loved one. Many times this loved one is not equipped with the training or resources needed to confidently provide care. For this reason, we will offer education to the caregiver during the stay, or after the return home, so that a safe and successful return home is achieved.

Tailored to Audiences
Over time, the content of these presentations and workshops will be specifically tailored to address broad audience groups: families and caregivers, first responders, business and commerce, healthcare professionals, and service organizations. As an example, first responders will receive information on the behaviors of persons with brain decline and how to address their emergency needs. Retailers, such as restaurant owners, will receive training on how to identify and interact with persons with dementia so they can maintain quality customer service. Service organizations, like Rotary clubs, will receive training on how to continue meaningful volunteer opportunities for persons with dementia.

Expert Staff
A team of trained, community educators will be assembled to lead this effort. With partnerships from the local Alzheimer’s Association, Positive Approach® to Care, and our own certified trainers in Positive Approach® to Care, we will design a curriculum and market and deliver this program.

We look forward to making this program a reality in the coming months and to becoming a leading resource in the community.