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Heather Heights News

Hamister Group, LLC Rolls Out VDT Training

Steve Sprague, Chef at Heather Heights, took the virtual dimensia training course with his friend Tom in mind.
Steve Sprague, Chef at Heather Heights, took the virtual dimensia training course with his friend Tom in mind.

Hamister Group, LLC rolled out the first of a series of site trainings on "The Virtual Dementia Tour," enabling our healthcare employees to provide a higher level of person-centered care for our residents.

The Virtual Dementia Tour® is a scientifically proven method of building a greater understanding of dementia through the use of patented sensory tools and instruction.

Sherry Hoose, Heather Heights Administrator, said the training provided them an opportunity to experience what it would be like to have dementia.

";Staff embraced this training with an open mind," she said. ";Even though they have had extensive training with dementia, it really did open their eyes even more to what an individual experiences and that everyone inflicted with this terrible disease responds differently."

The VDT® was created by P.K. Beville, Ph.D., an award-winning geriatric psychologist, dementia expert, and founder of Second Wind Dreams, Inc.

Steve Sprague, Chef at Heather Heights, one of four Hamister Group world-class assisted living facilities, said the training was a real "eye-opener."

"My longtime friend Tom was diagnosed with beginning stage Alzheimer's Disease at 48 years old," he said. "Sometimes I would find myself getting frustrated with him forgetting things I had just told him, when really he couldn't help it. The VDT gave me a true understanding of the help and compassion those living with this disease really need on a day to day basis."

Corporate Trainer Mischelle Walters said the training will be an invaluable tool for employees.

"The training will give our staff the ability to provide a higher level of person-centered care because they will have a better understanding of what the residents are experiencing, having walked, if for a moment, in the residents' shoes," she said.

In the next six months, Walters said managers at the property level will be trained to deliver the tour so sessions can be provided regularly to ensure all new staff is trained as well.

Hamister Group, LLC is a national healthcare and hospitality management organization located in Buffalo, NY. Hamister Group has assisted living facilities in Orchard Park, Williamsville, and Forest Hill, Maryland. It will also start renovations on a former La Quinta in Pittsburgh this Spring to transform it into an assisted living facility.

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