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  • As one of the most debilitating disease processes in the elderly community, dementia can lead to a very self limiting and frustrating life for patients with the disease as well as their family members.  With a large geriatric population in Miami Dade County, the prevalence of dementia in the community is quite common, however, the services are very limited.

    At West Gables, we pride ourselves in providing patients and families affected with dementia with a structured rehabilitation program with an overall goal of evaluating the cognitive and functional deficits associated with the disease and establish a plan of care which will allow for a safe living environment for these patients.  Critical to the care of patients with dementia is the appropriate understanding of what stage of dementia the patient is in to allow for a structured plan of care to address the patient’s needs during this part in the disease process.

    Upon admission to the Dementia Program at West Gables, the patient will be evaluated by the interdisciplinary team and a dementia stage will be identified by the evaluating speech therapist.  Once identified, a plan of care to include specific treatment strategies will be established to allow the patient to progress with his or her functional capacities.  The overall goal of the program is to progress the patient’s functional independence and to educate the patient’s family and/or support system on what modifications need to be made to allow for a safe and effective lifestyle with dementia.

    Family / Support System education is absolutely critical to the overall care for patients with dementia.  Due to this need, WGRH provides multiple opportunities for families and support systems to learn how to manage their family members with dementia.  Such opportunities include the following:

    Monthly Dementia Education Orientation:

    Led by our Speech Therapy team, our weekly bilingual dementia educational orientation provides attendees a general orientation to stroke and a forum to ask questions regarding stroke.  Our stroke orientation is open to all patients, families and the general community and is offered weekly in both English and Spanish.

    Neuropsychology Program at West Gables

    Also unique to our Dementia Program is our Neuoropsychology program.  The overall goal of the neuropsychology team is to quickly assess the functional limitations associated with the patient’s disease process and immediately initiate an aggressive treatment which will assist patients in compensating for their deficits while progressing the patient’s family and support system on how to prepare for the functional limitations which the patient will have as a result of the dementia.  The neuropsychologists provide individualized treatment sessions which are in addition to the therapy services already provided by the inpatient and outpatient programs.