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  • Patricia Riley

How are the caregivers trained at Vista Cove?

As a licensed Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE) assisted living community, Vista Cove at Rancho Mirage must meet certain requirements for all employees, which include Caregiver training. Before working with residents, Vista Cove Caregivers are instructed on a variety of subjects. In addition to required first aid training, all Caregivers must complete 40 hours of initial training, which is divided into two phases:

· Initial 20 hours, which must be completed before working independently with residents; and

· Remaining 20 hours, which must be completed within the first four weeks of employment

The initial 20 hours include a five-hour overview of Alzheimer’s and Dementia presented by Pat Kaplan, Alzheimer’s Advocate/Consultant and co-founder of Alzheimer’s Coachella Valley. Pat also discusses Vista Cove’s philosophy of caring and the importance of compassionate communication with our residents.

Caregivers must also complete 16 hours of hands-on training as part of their initial training within the first four weeks of employment. Topics covered during this training include:

· Recognizing the effects of medications commonly used to treat the symptoms of dementia, the use and misuse of drugs such as anti-psychotics and the special needs of persons with Alzheimer’s disease

· Hydration

· Skin care

· Communication

· Therapeutic activities (individual and group settings)

· Assisting with activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and transferring from/to bed, chair, etc.

· Recognizing symptoms that may create or aggravate dementia behaviors

As an adjunct to the above training, Vista Cove staff participated in an Alzheimer’s simulation exercise facilitated by representatives from AccentCare (a local home health, hospice and palliative care agency) in August. The simulation exercise is designed to increase the participant’s awareness of the cognitive and physical limitations experienced by persons with dementia. Patented devices are used to alter the participant’s senses (vision, hearing and touch) while he/she tries to complete common everyday tasks and exercises (see photo).

Vista Cove Med Techs also receive training on assisting residents with self-administration of medications.

All Caregivers must pass examination tests to ensure their comprehension and competency levels of the information presented are in compliance.

If you have any questions regarding Caregiver training and/or the care of your loved one, contact Rebecca Giordano, Director of Resident Services, at or 760-324-4604.

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