Great River Friends donated $22,890.80 to Great River Health at its annual
recognition event this month. The money will be used to fund 12 projects,
including four at Great River Klein Center, a long-term and skilled nursing
facility on the health system’s West Burlington Campus.
All projects will enhance patient and elder experiences. One will improve
staff skills, too. Virtual Dementia Tour is a 20-minute simulation of
living with Alzheimer’s disease.
“The tour will provide us with a proven method of training to build
sensitivity and awareness in people who care for elders with dementia,”
said Ann Abolt, Klein Center administrator. “It will be mandatory
training for all of our staff. Then we would like to offer it to our volunteers
and family members.”
Abolt has experienced the tour. She said it will be enlightening for staff,
and it will make them better caregivers.
“From the goggles that are colored to mimic macular degeneration
and cataracts to the spikes in your shoes to mimic neuropathy to the noise
in the headphones that keeps you from understanding what people are saying,
it was very frustrating,” Abolt said. “It was the longest
20 minutes. I didn’t feel confident that I knew what I was doing
so I just wandered around. It gave me a totally different perspective.”
The Klein Center also received a gift to create personalized digital music
programs for people with dementia, Parkinson’s disease and other
diseases that affect brain chemistry. Besides providing enjoyment, personalized
music can help improve elder’s attention, cooperation and socialization.
It also can help reduce resistance to care and reliance on antipsychotic
Other gifts are:
- Artscapes-Art As Therapy projects for Klein Center residents and Great
River Hospice patients
- Books and activities for Pediatrics Unit patients
- Breast milk from Mothers Milk Bank of Iowa for newborns in the Obstetrics Unit
- Interactive, lifelike dementia therapy pets for the Klein Center
- Large, reusable ice packs for orthopedic-surgery patients in the Medical-Surgical Unit
- Local recreation area maps for health improvement
- Swaddling sleepers for newborns in the Obstetrics Unit
- Two Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant picnic tables, two benches
and trash receptacles for a shelter house to be built this spring along
the health system lake. Money for the structure was donated by Great River
Friends last year.
- Two bariatric examination room chairs for Radiation Oncology-Great River
Great River Friends is a community of donors and volunteers that supports
Great River Health with the gifts of time, talent and treasure. For more
information, please call Volunteer Services at 319-768-3340.