REGINA – The Wascana Rehab Centre unveiled their new dementia assessment unit that will serve health regions across southern Saskatchewan Friday.
This short term assessment unit is designed to develop treatment options for dementia patients that can be applied in their own home.
These evaluations will be conducted by a multi-disciplinary team made up of people like psychiatrists, pharmacologists, and social workers.
“Based on that comprehensive assessment, and really expert care planning, those needs can be addressed,” Dr. David McCutcheon explained.
Five bedrooms are in the unit, and stays are expected to last between 30 and 90 days.
Permanent staff in the wing will be made up of teams of two people, a special care aide and licensed nurse practitioner, who will be there between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
This set up has some employees worried. One emailed Global News a list of concerns, outlining worries that some patients may become violent, and easily be able to find the “secret” staff door.
The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region’s long term care executive director Debbie Sinnett is aware of concerns and working to ease worries.
“With two staff and five residents it will be quickly visible to us that somebody’s feeling the need to try to get through that door, and we have a little bit of a barrier so it gives us a little bit of time to approach that person and redirect them,” she explained.
The staff door is obscured by a sharp corner in the wall behind a counter in the kitchen area. There’s also a half-door connecting the counter and wall that will also block patients.
The anonymous employee also expressed concerns about not having round rooms to redirect errant patients. This is commonly seen in other dementia wings.
Sinnett explained that they want the unit to have a more home-like feel to ease patients transition between the rehab and their home.
There are also many bright paintings to draw the attention of patients if they become erratic.
“There’s a level of anxiety with some staff because it’s still an unknown,” Sinnett said.
“It’s a new program for them, and we will support them through that. We’ll be watching it closely and working with the team as concerns may arise and work through them as they happen.”
The unit will receive its first patient on Monday from the Yorkton area.