Mickell Horstman, Lead Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, works with participants Terol (left) and Karen (right).

Proactive Aptiv

La Crosse, WI, May 8th, 2018 

Sometimes the services we provide for people transition from skill building to helping them enjoy their lives. And this is just what Mickell Horstman, Lead Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, is helping Aptiv to improve on and grow as an agency.

Horstman attended the “Dementia Capable Care of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities & Dementia” workshop given by The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities and Mind & Memory Matters. The curriculum is from the NTG, the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices.

With the three-day training she completed, Horstman came back with the knowledge and capability of training other Aptiv employees on early onset Alezheimer’s or dementia in Aptiv participants with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD).

Horstman and Silke Sambataro, Northern Residential Coordinator, met with Gregory D. Prichett, a neuropsychologist at Gundersen, to collaborate on training staff and community members, and to create a better baseline for communication between Aptiv and physicians. The team is still working on how the collaboration will work, but the ground work is laid.

Staff at the Aptiv adult family homes now have a form to fill out called the NTG-EDSD. This is the NTG-Early Detection Screen for Dementia, which is used for the early detection screening of adults with IDD who are suspected of showing early signs of mild cognitive impairment or dementia. With this form, staff can note functional decline and health problems and record information to bring to a physician.

Horstman has used the form to evaluate a participant who is showing early signs of Sundowning, a common occurrence for individuals living with Alzheimer’s. Horstman then, using the NTG-EDSD, case notes, and research, she sent out recommendation information for the participant’s physician.

So far Horstman has trained 75 Aptiv staff members, with more people on the plan to train.

“We want to be more proactive instead of reactive,” Horstman said. “Alzheimer’s and dementia affects everyone differently. It is important for us to provide safe, secure, meaningful programming for our participants.”

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