The traditional approach to resident assessment in dementia care communities relies on staff ratings regarding the extent of assistance required for daily care activities. Because staff ratings are subjective and not based on scientifically valid measurement principles to ensure accuracy, Abe’s Garden assessments are based on standardized performance tests determined to be scientifically valid.
Residents will be timed in a 6-minute walk test upon admission and routinely thereafter (monthly or quarterly) as walking speed is strongly associated with overall physical and cognitive heath status.
Routinely, staff also assess residents’ cognitive functioning, emotional well-being and quality of life using validated instruments.
These routine assessments allow Abe’s Garden caregivers to make informed decisions about the care and programming needs of individual residents. Equally important, informed decisions may also be made about whether or not programs are effective for individual residents as defined by maintenance or improvement in health, functioning and/or quality of life. This information system can be used to generate summary reports and other documents so caregivers may easily determine if a resident’s care needs are changing over time.
All assessments are reported to Vanderbilt researchers and Abe’s Garden staff to determine the effectiveness of programs.