Clare Bridge Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program Overview
The Clare Bridge concept was created over 30 years ago and has evolved by continually embracing the latest research in dementia care, coupled with the experience of caring for thousands of people with dementia and their families. Today, Brookdale is the leading provider of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in the United States.
Brookdale associates are trained in the concept of generating daily moments of success, and embrace this promise by offering opportunities for residents to find happiness and meaning by supporting their unique needs. The program is deeply rooted in a person-centered approach focused on sustaining feelings of belonging and purpose while seeking to preserve identity and a sense of self.
Person-centered partnerships, knowing the residents, and listening to their voices and choices:
Our commitment to relationship-rich care is longstanding in Clare Bridge. We support the forming of person-centered partnerships between the residents and their care partners through a commitment to consistent assignment of the same associates to each resident. In our care model, relationships are fostered that build trust, loving concern, and a sense of family over a resident’s time with us. This relationship enables our associates to listen to the voices and choices of our residents as we problem-solve any behavioral expressions that may arise. Knowing and being present in relationships with our residents gives us a strong foundation to anticipate any unmet needs and lessen behavioral symptoms.
Daily Path of Person Centered Programs:
In Clare Bridge, we have discovered that the old traditional model of providing “activities” for residents just doesn’t cut it when it comes to good dementia care. The Clare Bridge Daily Path offers a gentle daily structure of six planned programs per day, which maintain residents' abilities and encourage the use of their current skills. These activities include: a morning cognitive workout with discussions, brain stimulating games and physical activity with a variety of opportunities like Brookdale’s Fitness B Fit program, group exercises, walking programs, and dancing. We find this daily routine gives residents a sense of security that they are right where they need to be. To encourage the “just right challenge” for all residents, residents are grouped by ability level and interest throughout the day.
To kick it up a notch, we have also created environments that encourage spontaneous engagement in various household and normal daily tasks. Most of our residents are not used to spending all of their time in leisure pursuits and appreciate having some “real work” to do as well. Our Clare Bridge environments feature areas of the community that are set up for safe engagement in gardening, kitchen work, handy man help, and other pursuits that provide purposeful and meaningful successful moments. By honoring past interests and involvements, these programs tap into current skills and support successful experiences.
Solace late stage programming:
In the Clare Bridge program we recognize that our residents in the advanced stages of dementia have a unique set of needs, which can leave them disengaged from typical daily programming, and increasingly distanced from important human connections. Clare Bridge Solace programming, executed within the Alzheimer’s and dementia care communities, is designed to meet those special needs. Solace programming does not replace any elements of the overall Clare Bridge daily path of life enrichment, but rather adds a layer of programming for residents with advanced stage dementia.
Solace programming features unique designed engagement opportunities that promote sensory awareness and focus on comfort and providing joy to residents in the very advanced stages of dementia. The Clare Bridge philosophy of person-centered life enrichment continues through the Solace program as indulgences and favorites are offered daily.
Clare Bridge Dining Program:
A team of experts specializing in dementia care, culinary arts, and nutrition designed the Clare Bridge Dining Program. This unique dining program features dementia friendly menus that provide diverse offerings that can assist in full engagement in the dining process regardless of the level of dementia. Selections are easy to manage, familiar and are appealing to the senses.
Individualized dining assistance preserves residents' use of utensils as long as possible and small dining rooms with consistent seating encourage familiarity and socialization. Our signature reFRESH program features warmed scented wash towels provided to residents prior to each meal, which enhances the dining experience.
Expertise and Innovation
InTouch by Brookdale brings the outside world inside for our residents. InTouch is ideal for those with physical or cognitive limitations and provides an unintimidating, intuitively designed touch-screen computer interface that features picture-based screen prompts — so it’s easy to use. With just the touch of a button, our residents can launch a virtual world of discovery and adventure from conversing with family on Skype, to triggering memories with access to personal photos and optimizing brain function with games and puzzles.
Crossings Early Stage Program:
Persons in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias often experience loss of self-esteem and a lack of social engagement due to an increased awareness of their own cognitive decline. Some studies have shown that persons with early stage dementia may even be at a higher risk of developing depression. Issues such as these may be more likely to develop when the person with dementia lives amongst peers who are cognitively well and more independent. They may become socially isolated and lose self-esteem as they are “left out” of programming geared towards higher functioning residents. Clare Bridge Crossings is by nature a stepping-stone in Brookdale’s continuum of dementia care, and is not an appropriate setting for all persons with dementia. Managing the communities as a continuum is a critical piece of the success of Clare Bridge Crossings at your community.
The programmatic concepts of the Clare Bridge Crossings program have as their foundation an increasing body of research that shows that a structured program of appropriate cognitive workout, regular physical exercise, and increased social interaction may help to slow the inevitable decline of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
New program and care innovations in the Clare Bridge Program utilize concepts and findings stemming from most current research in dementia care. Our program is constantly evolving to include innovations and new ideas about what best serve our residents with dementia. Whether it’s our newest environmental design elements, the flooring choices, or how we approach behavior problem solving, the latest thinking is applied.
The Clare Bridge program is very well supported by a regional and national team of experts. With a combined 271 years of dementia care experience, the team of dementia care specialists at Brookdale provides on-site support and quality assurance for all Clare Bridge programs as well as ongoing education and coaching to Clare Bridge leaders and associates. The team has the ability to quickly problem-solve very complex issues related to behavioral symptoms — reducing hospitalizations and unwanted transfers. We serve as a national and local provider of continuing education and enhanced information for our professional partners in the nursing, medical, and social services fields.
Working in close partnership with the families of our residents is a hallmark of the Clare Bridge program. We understand that our families want to remain involved and a primary partner in their loved one’s care and daily path. We listen and are here to support as we work together to create the best care environment and plan possible for our residents. Through our monthly education and support groups, families are provided with the opportunities to learn more.