Perham Living, a 96-bed skilled care community, utilizes a "household model" of skilled nursing care that allows residents to become more involved in their residency at Perham Living. Moreover, Perham is starting to engage the community, especially in the dementia care of loved ones. Perham Health is a health system headquartered in Perham, MN. It is a regional provider of quality healthcare focusing on patient- and family-centered care. Since the hospital's founding in 1902, Perham Health has remained committed to three core principles: healing, health, and hospitality.

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Katie Lundmark, VP of Long Term Care at Perham Living, continues on the path of bringing the community together for care delivery, particularly in the care of loved ones diagnosed with various stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  “Our communities are facing a growing number of residents with this type of diagnosis, and we want everyone, families included, to be as educated and equipped as possible to share in the care of our residents,” states Lundmark.

Perham Living recently hosted a four-part dementia education series that was co-sponsored with the Alzheimer’s Association. It was a new series with family members and residents who are on the continuum of dementia care.  At the first kick-off meeting, the Glenn Campbell film, “I’ll be me,” was featured—helping to create a foundation of education and understanding of the disease.  

“We didn’t really know what to expect when we first started, but we quickly learned that our community is thirsty for knowledge about this topic,” Lundmark states. The kick-off event had over 125 attendees.  “Of a community of about 3,000, having that many people show up to learn and be engaged was surprising for us. It showed the overall need for information,” she adds.

Efforts continue as Northwinds, an Assisted Living Memory Care facility, is near opening late summer 2016. The master planning for this facility started over three years ago.  Planning teams consisted of community members, employees, residents and families, and consultants. These teams had input and feedback in the design process regarding room design, meal schedules, housekeeping and laundry service, medication management, social programs and activities, exercise and physical therapy programs, and the 24-hour staffing and personal assistance. It is another shining example of how families of loved ones seek information about how to help care for their loved ones, and understand Perham Living’s approach in engaging the residents in care.

Caution, look out ahead! Challenges faced by Perham:

  • Costs associated to plan and host events
  • Engaging residents’ families to attend meetings