By Will McClure
Stamford Residence and Rehabilitation just got a bit bigger with the opening of a new 20 bed secure unit for patients with special needs. The unit, having been in operation for the past few weeks, will have an open house on Wednesday, December 16 from 2-4 pm where Stamford residents can tour the facility and the services that can now be offered to their loved ones. Residence and Rehabilitation Administrator Doug Streckert and Director of Nurses Nancy Kenyon were able to share a few details about the new unit and how it has operated thus far.
The unit is a secure, locked unit that will provide special care for patients suffering from dementia, Alzheimer's, dual diagnosis, wandering/exit seeking and non-combative behaviors. In the past, those that needed this care would have to travel to Abilene or Sweetwater. When the building of the new unit commenced in March of this year, it was the sign of allowing closer care for loved ones without the need for a long travel. Streckert said that they have a psychiatrist on staff along with a nurse who was already on staff that has experience with dementia patients. While Streckert hopes to bring in a few new hires to help with the new unit, the existing staff has been able to adapt to the different environment and have received special training in order to help treat the residents.
"The residents have constant supervision," Kenyon said. "The nurses are trained to redirect the residents and to make them feel at ease. There's more one-on-one care with two nurses to every five patients, so the ratio is good."
In addition to the special training the staff receives, the new unit also accommodates the residents with special activities, private rooms and all new furniture in order to help maintain the home atmosphere that Residence and Rehabilitation strives for. Streckert mentioned that the residents participate in sensory activities that gear towards what they remember.
"They do a lot of things that they still remember that they did years ago," Streckert said. "Smell is the last thing to go, so it's a lot of things that they can remember,"
When speaking about the last few weeks, both Kenyon and Streckert expressed how smooth that the new unit has been able to operate thus far. They mentioned how families of residents have overwhelmingly accepted the new program, with most telling them that they feel much more at ease with the knowledge that their loved ones are being taken care of and are given the special treatment that they need.
Even though they stated that there have been a few growing pains that goes along with the opening of anything new, both
Streckert and Kenyon have stated that the unit has run quite well the past few weeks and has integrated almost seamlessly with the rest of the facility. Both Streckert and Kenyon, along with the
rest of the staff at Stamford Residence and Rehabilitation, invite the citizens of Stamford to come tour the new unit and see what they have to offer their loved ones during their open
house and ribbon cutting this Wednesday. The open house will last from 2-4 and refreshments will be provided.
For more information about the new unit or if they can be of service in any way, feel free to contact Stamford Residence and Rehabilitation at 325-773-3671 or by fax at 325-773-5751.