Published on June 25, 2018

Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospital - Superior receives dementia training to better serve patients

Staff pictured

Staff from St. Mary’s Hospital-Superior and Rocky Rekstad, Douglas County Caregiver Coalition

Knowing the best way to care for patients requires expert training and staff from St. Mary’s Hospital in Superior recently received specialized education to care for patients with dementia. The training teaches staff to recognize signs and symptoms of dementia, how to assist those with dementia and identify local resources available. The training is made possible through the Douglas County Caregiver Coalition.

“We are offering this training as one of the ways to create a dementia friendly community,” says Douglas County Aging and Disability Resource Center Director Erika Leif. “The demographics for those over 65 living in Douglas County will dramatically increase over the next 25 years. Because of this, we will likely see an increase in the number of individuals being diagnosed with some form of dementia.”

Training was offered three days in June. Each 45-minute session on various topics helped increase awareness about dementia and how best to care for those with it.

“Douglas County feels strongly that this training with help serve our community and Essentia is happy to provide this for the patients we are called to serve,” says Registered Nurse Kathryn Fisher, who is the case manager at St. Mary’s Hospital-Superior.

St. Mary’s campus now displays a dementia friendly decal that signals to the community the staff are best serving residents affected by memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. The Douglas County Caregiver Coalition is enthusiastic about training more businesses, groups and organizations.

“The goal of a dementia friendly community is to develop an educated, understanding community where people living with dementia are supported and can continue to be part of their community,” Leif says. “Everyone can play a role in creating a dementia friendly community and it’s the Coalition’s goal to reach out and train businesses, community members, law enforcement and first responders.”

If you would like to learn more about the Coalition’s dementia training, contact Erika Leif at:
(715) 395-7532.