|Jun 01, 2009 --
Dementia Care Foundation and Lakeview Ranch Getting Plenty of Mileage Out of $66,000 USDA Rural Development Loan and Grant
Willmar Office (Southwest Region)
USDA Rural Development awarded a $51,000 loan and $15,000 grant to the Dementia Care Foundation to purchase a van to transport residents of Lakeview Ranch, specialized dementia care center managed by the foundation.
How Rural Development Helped
The new van will transport residents to community outings, special events and medical appointments. Lakeview’s old van could not accommodate the accessibility needs of many residents. It was also past its useful life and unreliable.
Lakeview delivers a specialized type of care that meets the emotional and spiritual needs of residents as well as physical needs. The van will help Lakeview staff involve residents in the community and better deliver the type of specialized care they focus on.
The Full Story
A new van for the Dementia Care Foundation has been a boost for the residents of Lakeview Ranch, a specialized dementia care center in rural Minnesota.
USDA Rural Development awarded a $51,000 low-interest loan and $15,000 grant to the Dementia Care Foundation in August of 2008. The foundation supports equal access to Lakeview Ranch, a specialized dementia care center with locations in Darwin and Dassel, and used the Rural Development funding to purchase a new handicap accessible van to be used for residents of both locations.
The new van, a Ford F-450 15-passenger model, arrived in September and helps Lakeview transport residents to medical appointments, community events and organized outings.
“Being able to access the van contributed greatly to expanding residents ability to participate in the community,” said Judy Berry, president of Lakeview Ranch and founder of the Dementia Care Foundation. “Kevin Friesen of Rural Development made the process as easy as it could be and we’re real grateful for the assistance.”
The Dassel location has 18 residents and the Darwin location has 15. Lakeview employs 85 staff members, which provide the type of appropriate specialized care championed by Berry and the Dementia Care Foundation.
Lakeview strives to meet the emotional and spiritual needs as well as the physical needs of each resident. Its model of care has been developed over 10 years and focuses on eliminating challenging behavior issues in persons with dementia, and creating an environment that allows all its residents to maintain their dignity, choice and the best quality of life possible through death.
Berry said that Lakeview’s type of specialized service has reduced behavior hospitalization of residents by 93 percent. The Dementia Care Foundation awards funding to people with dementia on medical assistance so they can receive equal access to the type of specialized care provided by the Lakeview Ranch model.
“We’re in existence to change the way dementia care is done,” Berry said. “Our main focus is not just changing how it’s done, but also making it available to everyone. We are and have always been committed to developing a model of dementia care that works and then finding a way to pay for it, instead of the common practice of limiting the care to current available funding.”
The Rural Development funding was awarded through the agency’s Community Facilities program, which awards loan guarantees, direct loans and grants for projects like hospitals, fire trucks, day care, assisted living and equipment in rural areas.
The van will go a long way in providing the support Berry and her staff needs in order to provide the pioneering type of care Lakeview specializes in.
“It’s was a great decision to work with Rural Development on this project,” Berry said. “These types of investments really help out.”