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Mental Health, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care

Paul Goldenberg • Richard S. Ziman Special Care Center

Environment plays an important role in caring for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Because dementia robs its victims of memory and cognitive and motor skills, the warmth and reassurance of “home” are vital. Many dementia care facilities sacrifice a home-like feeling in the interests of safety and security, while others provide a home-like environment but do not provide significant medical services.

Fortunately, Los Angeles Jewish Health’s Goldenberg•Ziman Special Care Center is a trailblazer on every front, leading the way in providing comfort without compromising safety and medical care.

Goldenberg•Ziman Special Care Center

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The Goldenberg•Ziman Center was designed in response to the most advanced research about how patients’ physical environment affects their behavior, sense of well-being, and even disease symptoms.

Since many people living with dementia may control agitation levels through wandering and constant motion, the Center’s floor plans incorporate a circular shape, ensuring that residents never come to a dead-end which could potentially cause debilitating confusion.

The building, with its pastel palatte, offers residents a comforting environment where they can enjoy various programs and mental stimulation.

The exterior features are “softened” with a pitched roof and lovely portico that are reassuringly traditional. Skylights and large windows provide the comfort of natural light. Beautiful exterior landscaping is visible from inside the building at virtually every turn.

Pioneering Techniques

Person-first programming incorporates the “universal-worker” concept, where all staff members are involved in residents’ care. The staff takes ownership of “life happiness” in the unit.

Regular mealtime protocols (as permitted by public health agencies) help consistently address the challenges of weight loss caused by dementia. Specially trained staff members encourage eating by socializing with residents during meals and snack times, observing closely to reduce the risks caused by the swallowing issues seen in dementia. The Los Angeles Jewish Health approach not only improves the quality of life of our residents, but also reduces stressful emergency hospitalizations and the need for artificial forms of nutrition.

Learning circles engage even the most confused residents, providing every individual an opportunity to reminisce and experience the inclusiveness of our special community. We tailor recreational programming to our residents’ attention span, past-life skills, and independence.

Skilled nursing facilities (SNF) such as Goldenberg•Ziman provide a higher degree of assistance with daily tasks. In addition to offering exceptional nursing care, the SNF staff actively focuses on improving their patients’ abilities to perform daily tasks (such as fostering mobility, bathing, grooming, getting dressed, and eating) while keeping them safe and secure in a healing and compassionate environment.

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For more information about the Goldenberg•Ziman Special Care Center, please contact Connections to Care at 855.227.3745.

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