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Defining our Dementia Care

Over the next several months, Olive Branch will begin to define how we care for our residents with dementia. Processes and systems will be put into place using evidenced based procedures and best practices to accomplish the following goals:

  • Personalized plan of care for each resident
  • Personalized non-pharmaceutical interventions for behavior management
  • Increased stimulation and engagement
  • Holistic approach acknowledging the needs of body, mind and spirit
  • Modifying activities based on level of cognition

The above goals will be achieved by:

  • In depth training of all staff in all aspects of dementia. This is in addition to the required 8 hours of new hire training and additional 2 hours each year required by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
  • Cognitive testing on each resident to identify stage of decline. The Director of Nursing is responsible for performing the assessment using a test referred to as the SLUMS assessment. (Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination)
  • Collaboration with Physicians, Pharmacy and Families in a team approach to care
  • Collaboration with Activity Director to Add/Change/Modify activities according to cognitive scores. Goal is engagement, socialization and satisfaction
  • Evidence based utilization of music therapy. (next Month’s newsletter topic)

Nursing has already began laying the foundation by changing all residents plan of care to have services scheduled at specific times that meet the needs of each individual preferences. Cognitive testing is under way and interventions are being added to help manage behaviors without medication.

Great care happens daily at Olive Branch. We have an amazing team of dedicated direct care staff. We are excited to raise our standard of excellence even higher to a whole new level!

Heidi Lohre RN

Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is just around the corner. Here are a few gift ideas that could help bring smiles to your loved one!

Memory Box – Small tote filled with items that will trigger pleasant memories and reminiscing. This can be a useful tool to start conversations from long term memory and help redirect behaviors. Some examples:

A memory box for dementia can also be effective at combating bad moods, or for when an individual is feeling agitated, restless, or upset.

When creating Memory Boxes for Dementia use, keep the following tips in mind:

Try to include items that use a variety of senses, items to read, touch, and smell Variety is key; include objects from different areas of the person’s life and different periods

Here are some examples of items that can be included:

A favorite book – Photos of family, friends, and important life events that trigger memories

An enjoyable smell, such as perfume,

souvenirs, tickets (an old football season ticket, for example), memorabilia, etc. Items that reminds them of their most enjoyable job/vacation. Objects that have enjoyable/funny stories associated with them

An important part of a memory box can also be a short summary sheet, this should list all the items included in the memory box, and the reasons why they were added.

A Summary Sheet can be especially useful in care homes, where there may not always be a family member available who knows the complete history behind all of the items.


Researchers are finding new ways to use music as part of the treatment of dementia. We will explore this in detail next month. Evidence suggests that an MP3 player loaded with favorite music and a set of comfortable headphones (the size of ear muffs) can make a big impact to memory, stimulation, emotional well-being and engagement. Here are some suggestions:

MP3 player or iPod nano (does not need to be expensive)

Music from the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s depending on what era they enjoyed most!

Sing along type songs (Let me call you sweetheart, You are my sunshine, etc.)

Traditional church hymns

Big band/ Polka music.

Heidi Lohre RN

Chef's Corner:
Ryan Schmitt

Fall is officially here and that means holiday season is just right around the corner.

This year we will be hosting a Thanksgiving lunch here at OBE which will begin at 12:00 Noon.

Please RSVP with our activities director, Dana at 952-448-4800 or email: before the November 16th deadline if you plan on attending. I hope to see you there!

Food Demo with Ryan Tuesday, November 20th


Come join us!

Happy Birthday

Wayne Troyer – 11-1

Celebrating November

Novel Writing Month

Gratitude Month

Inspirational Role Models Month

Love Your Red Hair Day November 5

World Kindness Day November 13

Thanksgiving Day: U.S. November 22

Cider Monday November 26

Entertainment by:
Kent Appeldoorn

November 29th
12:00 Noon

Getting Ready for Halloween!

Making Memories

Dana Jensen

As the warm weather turns to cold, the activities will change. This winter I am looking at more baking, a field trip to the Minnesota Arboretum, crafts and games to keep us warm and busy.