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New Dementia Assessment Unit Providing Specialized Care


The Southern Saskatchewan Dementia Assessment Unit - the first of its kind in Saskatchewan - is scheduled to receive clients beginning Monday, April 18, 2016.

Dementia Assessment Unit
Dementia Assessment Unit at Wasacana Rehab Centre.

This innovative unit and resource team, located in Wascana Rehabilitation Centre, will provide specialized care and treatment for persons with dementia expressing highly responsive behaviours. With funding provided by the Ministry of Health, the five-bed unit and resource team that will serve clients in facility-based care and community settings within the southern half of the province.

“This unit is an exciting step forward in improving dementia care, and will provide enhanced supports for individuals with dementia and their families from across southern Saskatchewan,” says Health Minister Dustin Duncan. “This specialized unit is a great example of our government’s commitment to improving the quality of long-term care in Saskatchewan.”

Members from all five Southern Health Regions, including Cypress, Five Hills, Regina Qu’Appelle, Sun Country and Sunrise health regions, as well as the Ministry Of Health, the Alzheimer’s Society and family advocates were involved with the planning and creation of this specialized unit through several planning events. The ability of so many people to come together to work through these improvement events resulted in one of the most collaborative approaches to designing a new program and unit with the goal of providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time, by the right providers.

Dementia Assessment Unit Floor Plan
Drawing of the five-bed Dementia Assessment Unit at Wascana Rehab Centre.

“Health care and needs are changing, and regions need to evolve to be able to provide quality care for persons with dementia,” says Debbie Sinnett, Executive Director, Long Term Care with the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region. The resource team and assessment unit will work to ensure that clients admitted to the program will receive a comprehensive assessment and development of care strategies. This will help reduce responsive behaviors, supporting the client, their family and the care team at home to implement the plan of care. It will also facilitate the client in returning to their home community,” “The unit is not meant to be a long-term care option, but to provide comprehensive, short term assessment for individuals with dementia and related high risk needs. Ongoing support is provided in their home setting, whether that is within a special care home, or other community setting, following discharge”

Outreach support will be provided by a resource team to assist care providers, families and other support persons in meeting the care and safety needs of the clients in their home community. Patients go through a screening process to identify if their needs are best met in the community or if their needs are greater and need a higher level of care. If the client’s needs require more attention, the highly-specialized five-bed unit will be an option that was previously unavailable.

Clients admitted will receive various assessments to find the underlying cause of the behaviours. This is where a care plan to better meet the individual’s needs will be developed and most clients should be able to return home within 30 to 90 days.

The Province provided $1.4 million in the 2015-16 provincial budget for capital renovations to design the unit, and $1.15 million ongoing operational funding.


For More Information:
Anne Lindemann
Communications Consultant
RQHR Communications
Phone: 306-766-0889