Although the idea for a CCDI unit at Country Side Estates was initially discussed two - three years ago, the decision to actually create one didn't happen until this year. Country Side Estates has remodeled the south wing of their building, with a goal of creating a safe and calming environment for those suffering from Alzheimer's and Dementia.
The new unit is a locked unit , ensuring that residents cannot wander around and get lost or confused. A quiet room, with couches and a fireplace, was created to be a low-stimulus area in which residents can relax, and a locked patio was also added, allowing residents to get a bit of fresh air and enjoy the outdoors when they desire to do so.
The unit is decorated in a "country" theme, and has many familiar items for residents, including photos of Cherokee and the surrounding area hanging on the walls. The name of the new unit is "The Haven," a name chosen because the word haven can be defined as "a place of safety or refuge."
The license for the CCDI unit, which has room for 18 residents, became valid on September 1, and residents began being admitted shortly after that date. Administrator Gary Parry said that unit has been a challenge for his staff, but he feels that they are ready to handle that challenge.
Parry and his Director of Nursing took a course through the Alzheimer's Association to become Alzheimer's facilitators, and State regulations mandate that all staff members must take at least six hours of training about the illness, including methods of dealing with the many behaviors that come with Alzheimer's, how to recognize the symptoms of the different stages of the illness, and simply understanding the illness.
Among the local businesses who assisted in the remodeling project were Carey's Furniture, Bomgaars and Cherokee Lumber.