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Sunday, Sep. 21, 2014

The Haven- first CCDI unit in Cherokee County

Thursday, August 11, 2011

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Haven Bedroom - Pictured here is one of the rooms of The Haven. The room will sleep two people and will provide a calming environment for patients to live in. Photo by Jessica Mathes
Country Side Estates in Cherokee will soon be opening a Chronic Confusion or Dementing Illness (CCDI) unit in their care facility in order to serve patients suffering from Alzheimer's or Dementia.

The new unit will be the first CCDI unit in Cherokee County. It will also be a great complement to the assisted living, long term care, skilled care, rehab, and respite care services that Country Side Estates already offers.

The idea for a CCDI unit at Country Side Estates appeared about two years ago, but the decision to actually make one didn't come until this past June. For the past six weeks, Country Side Estates has been remodeling the south wing of their building into a safe facility for Alzheimer's and Dementia patients. Country Side Estates used only local businesses for the remodeling project including Carey's Furniture, Bomgaars, Cherokee Lumber, and many others.

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Patio - The patio will be a place where the patients of The Haven will be able to enjoy the sunshine and many other aspects of the outdoors. Flowers and grass, along with other plants, will soon be planted in the patio. Photo by Jessica Mathes
The goal of the remodel was to create a safe and calming environment for those suffering from Alzheimer's and Dementia. The new unit will be a locked unit to ensure that patients cannot wander around and get lost or confused. A quiet room, with couches and a fireplace, was created to be a low-stimulus area for patients to relax. Also, a locked patio was built which will allow patients to get a bit of fresh air and enjoy the outdoors when they desire to do so.

The unit will be decorated with a "country" theme and will have many things that might be familiar to the patients. Picture frames with photos of Cherokee and the surrounding areas will be hung on the walls. Curtains made of old blue jeans will be available and many other decorations, from route 66 signs to chicken statues, will fill the unit as well.

In preparation for the coming CCDI unit, Gary Parry (the administrator of Country Side Estates) and his Director of Nursing took a course in Sioux City through the Alzheimer's Association to become Alzheimer's facilitators.

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Quiet room - If residents of The Haven ever need a place to calm down and relax, they will be able to go to this quiet room and spend some time. Photo by Jessica Mathes
Parry also has to educate all of his staff about the disease for at least six hours according to state regulations. The staff members need to learn how to handle the many behaviors that come along with Alzheimer's, how to recognize the symptoms of the different stages the disease, and simply how to understand the disease.

Parry reports that he will have to hire about five more staff members for the new unit. He will be exceptionally careful in his choosing of the new staff. The staff will have to be able to handle special challenges and be creative, and able to keep ahead of the patients.

The license for the CCDI unit at Country Side Estates will become valid on September 1 , and patients will be admitted into the unit shortly after that date. The unit will have room for 18 patients.

The name for the new unit is "The Haven." The name was chosen because the word "haven" can be defined as a place of safety or refuge. Certainly, the new unit will be just that to all patients.

According to Parry, "The unit is going to be a challenge for us, but we will be ready for it."



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