Attention Readers
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, C & G Newspapers has temporarily suspended its print publications. We look forward to resuming our print operation in the coming weeks. In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you stay healthy and safe.

Senior center honored for staff training

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 30, 2015

 Dorothy Szulczewski, of Sterling Heights, right, and John Elek, of Sterling Heights, left, do tai chi at the senior center. According to senior center staff, patrons range in age from 50 to 100. ABOVE RIGHT: Pat Kurz, of Shelby Township, participates in a tai chi class at the center.

Dorothy Szulczewski, of Sterling Heights, right, and John Elek, of Sterling Heights, left, do tai chi at the senior center. According to senior center staff, patrons range in age from 50 to 100. ABOVE RIGHT: Pat Kurz, of Shelby Township, participates in a tai chi class at the center.

Photo by Sean Work

Advertisement

The Sterling Heights Senior Activity Center has been proactive in learning how to serve the center’s patrons, including those who have Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other illnesses that cause progressive memory loss in older adults, city officials say.

Recently, the senior center was named an Alzheimer’s Friendly Business through a Home Instead Senior Care office that serves Macomb County. At an Oct. 20 City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool explained that the city is proud of staff members who went through training to make the certification possible, adding that it’s a step toward “trying to be as innovative as possible for our residents.”

“This two-year designation was awarded after multiple staff members completed training on how best to serve patrons with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers,” Vanderpool said. “The training helped staff recognize common characteristics of the disease and solutions to challenges that can arise when working with individuals with dementia.”

Kristen Briggs, recreation specialist at the Senior Activity Center, said the senior center earned the distinction after a Home Instead representative agreed to come and give training sessions to the senior center’s staff.

During the training sessions, staff listened to different scenarios and discussed how such situations could be handled at the center, Briggs said.

The idea, she added, is to help staff better plan when they know someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia is planning to do an activity, or go on a daytrip or shopping trip. A caregiver chaperone might be an option in such cases, Briggs said.

“It’s not safe to drop them off to Meijer or Lakeside (Mall) and let them go,” she said.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, about 1 in 9 seniors 65 or older has Alzheimer’s. Briggs said the senior center wants patrons to feel comfortable and safe while they are there.

“We have anyone from (ages) 50 to 100 in the building,” she said. “There is probably a handful of people that have some form of dementia. We want to be prepared for people to come here when they’re 50, and still come here when they’re 90. ... We want to be able to give them the best customer service that we can.”

Learn more about the Sterling Heights Senior Activity Center by visiting www.myshpr.net or by calling (586) 446-2750. Find out more about Home Instead Senior Care by visiting www.homeinstead.com. For the Alzheimer’s Association, visit www.alz.org.

 

Advertisement