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Four Receive Awards for 'Best Practices'
in Caring for Older Persons

By Ralph Derickson

 

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"Best practices are those good ideas that are based on evidence and have proven to produce successful results to improve the care of older persons."

-- Arleen Johnson, director,
Ohio Valley Appalachia Regional Geriatric Education Center

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July 12, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- New and improved methods of caring for older persons in long-term care facilities in Erwin, Tenn.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Corbin and Louisville, Ky., received awards today at a seminar on aging held in Lexington.

The caregivers who developed the "best practices" techniques received a plaque for the facility where they work and free participation (worth about $600) in the 19th Summer Series on Aging. The summer series is sponsored by the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

"Best practices are those good ideas that are based on evidence and have proven to produce successful results to improve the care of older persons," said Arleen Johnson, director of the Ohio Valley Appalachia Regional Geriatric Education Center (OVAR/GEC).

The OVAR/GEC is a consortium of the universities of Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati and East Tennessee State University. Caregivers receiving the awards and the "best practices" that were honored were:

-- Patrick Murphy, Sacred Heart Home, Louisville, Ky. Murphy and a committee at Sacred Heart devised a two-year test of a method to gradually reduce doses of antipsychotic drugs given to patients.

-- Emma H. Hopson, registered nurse; Joy Powers, administrator; Joy Strickland, owner and Carol Shawver, Joys of Life Program Coordinator, Center on Aging and Health, Erwin, Tenn. These caregivers developed an integrated system of easing the transition of older citizens into a caregiver facility environment.

-- Kathy Willis of The Heritage in Corbin, Ky. She and the staff of The Heritage created a Quality of Life team to coordinate services between all departments of the facility including nursing, dietary and therapy to enhance patient care. The team focuses on patients' weight loss, skin integrity, safety, rehabilitation and dignity.

-- Gail Jackson, a restorative nurse manager at Mercy Franciscan in West Park, Cincinnati. Jackson and a team from Mercy Franciscan created new methods of caring for patients who must be physically restrained.


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