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United Church Homes will co-sponsor a one-hour television special Dec. 6 to raise awareness and to support individuals and families dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

I Want to Go Home; A Journey Through Alzheimer’s, hosted by WCMH-TV (NBC4) anchor Colleen Marshall, began in 2008 when her mother was battling the disease. Colleen’s mother died in 2016. She said she hopes the special helps families to find the comfort they need.

UCH leaders decided to co-sponsor the 2017 special after watching last year’s program.

“We want to support families caring for loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other debilitating memory impairments. We want to be a resource for the community and share knowledge about new treatment options and innovative programs that will improve the quality of life for their loved ones,” said Chuck Mooney, senior vice president and chief operating officer of United Church Homes.

United Church Homes communities offer dementia care programs such as Music & Memory and Opening Minds through Art (OMA). UCH staff members also are trained in Comfort Matters dementia care, an award-winning palliative care program that improves the quality of life for people living with the disease.

UCH experts in memory care and long-term care will be at the station answering questions by phone from 7-8:15 p.m.

Caroline James, memory support director at Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio, is happy UCH is co-sponsoring the program.

“It gives us an opportunity to showcase what we do as a company. We all want the very best for our residents and their family members,” Caroline said.

Amy Kotterman, director of hospitality at UCH, helped to develop a partnership with the Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix, Arizona, which assisted as staff at three United Church Homes communities implemented Comfort Matters, a philosophy, care practice and dementia education program. 

The training has helped staff to better care for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

“United Church Homes recognizes that person-directed care is essential when it comes to working with residents living with dementia. The more we know the person, the better equipped we are to take care of them and provide a high quality of life, as well as abundant life,” Amy said.

kotterman 5609The special will allow staff an opportunity to educate others about dementia and how to care for those with dementia.

“We have a responsibility to share what we know to help make the journey a little easier for everyone,” Amy said. 

“Dementia has been referred to as an ‘invisible’ disease, meaning people look the same, yet the brain is changing due to deterioration as the disease progresses,” Amy said. “It is important for families to find a community that can meet the needs of the whole person, meaning physical, emotional and spiritual needs.” 

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