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Today’s Transitions is recognizing local services and communities whose innovative ideas are improving the quality of life for seniors and caregivers. Read about the significant contributions our Innovation Award winners are making — and new innovations they are planning.

Innovative Healthcare Services Award WINNER: Belmont Village Innovation: Circle of Friends, focusing on mental fitness and physical activity for seven days a week for those with dementia 4600 Bowling Blvd. | Louisville, KY 40207 Type: Alzheimer’s Care | Size: 110 residents

Circle of Friends is a program developed at Belmont Village Senior Living to help reduce apathy in people with mild to moderate dementia. Beverly Sanborn, LCSW, MSW gerontologist and vice president of program development at Belmont Village Senior Living, says the program builds cognitive reserve, which appears to delay symptoms. “You have extra capacity available in your brain. This is called cognitive reserve. If you develop the extra capacity, according to researchers, you could lose brain cells, but your brain could still function longer,” she says. The benefit, Sanborn says, is residents become more engaged with their peers and feel valued. “The program breathes life back into the residents,” Sanborn says. Belmont Village Senior Living hopes to incorporate dance and music into the program in the future. Sanborn also says she would like for their Circle of Friends model to be replicated in other facilities.

(L-R) Dr. Robert Marin, Melissa Weidman (memory program coordinator at Belmont Village), Jeanette Alexander, Odette Holcomb, and Volindah Costabell.

Innovative Therapeutic/Mobility Services Award WINNER: Frazier Rehab Institute Innovation: MoRe combines physical, occupational and speech therapy with intensive cognitive behavioral therapy in one intensive week. 220 Abraham Flexner Drive | Louisville, KY 40202 Type: Rehabilitation | Size: 1,769 (inpatients); 9,529 (outpatients)

“The innovation is that we are able to systematically align all of these rehabilitation services and provide a heavy dose over a brief period of time, which lends itself to a successful outcome for most of our patients,” says Abbey Roach, Ph.D., director of psychology and neuropsychology at Frazier Rehab Institute. One of the biggest advantages, Roach says, is patients with functional movement disorders receive four hours of therapy each day, which is significantly more than what long-term care communities offer. The intensity of the program has been life-changing for patients who’ve either had to quit their job or limit their daily tasks. “We have had wheelchair bound (patients) who have been able to ambulate and walk distances of many ranges before they left the hospital within a one-week period,” Roach says. Frazier hopes to increase the capacity of their program and collaborate with community providers.

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Dr. LaFaver assistant professor of neurology at the UofL School of Medicine and the director of the UofL Physicians Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Clinic follows up with patients who complete the MoRe program.

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Today's Transitions Winter 2017/2018  

Today's Transitions Winter 2017/2018