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Nursing faculty conduct dementia research at retirement community

MMRC staff worked with MCN faculty on research project

Joleen Hudson (left), MMRC director of nursing; Bernadine Hilgemann; and Linda Schubert, MMRC chief nursing officer, participated in a dementia research project with MCN faculty.

Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing Assistant Professor Sheri Kelly and Professor Mary Dyck worked with staff nurses at Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community (MMRC) in Chenoa on a research project June 2 about nursing care knowledge and attitudes toward residents with dementia.

The nursing staff completed a pretest, and then in pairs participated in a simulation whereby they provided care to an actor portraying a resident with dementia and delirium. Following the simulation, there was a debriefing, which allowed the participants to share thoughts and feelings related to their performance and ask questions about the care of the resident with dementia and delirium.

Dyck and Kelly, together with Assistant Professor Nancy Novotny, plan to take the results from this study and apply for an Illinois Department of Public Health grant to be approved by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) that would allow them to develop a two-year education program devoted to improving care of residents with dementia.

Dyck and Kelly are members of the Meadows Communities board of directors. Dyck joined the board in 2010, and currently serves as vice chair, and Kelly joined the board last fall. Dyck is involved in quality improvement in dementia care at MMRC.

“I have been working at least monthly at Meadows with a quality improvement team known as the Dementia Care PIP (Performance Improvement Project) for over a year,” said Dyck. “We have had a number of projects and Sheri’s research project has worked to supplement the education of the nurses about delirium superimposed on dementia. I consider this project a win-win as the nurses have an opportunity to learn more about persons with delirium superimposed on dementia, and Sheri and I have the opportunity to collect some data for a research project and hopefully to have another publication.”

“The research and education intervention we are conducting at Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community is my dissertation research applied to the practice setting,” said Kelly. “My dissertation was looking at the use of simulation to improve student nurse knowledge and skills and improve attitudes related to care of the patient with delirium superimposed on dementia.”

Meadows Communities owns and operates two area senior living communities: Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community in Chenoa and Meadows at Mercy Creek in Normal. Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community, a well-recognized memory care provider, is certified to care for individuals through all levels of progression of dementia. The nonprofit senior living provider seeks opportunities to make advancements in the quality of care provided to Meadows residents.

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