2017 AWARD HONOREES
- Published on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 01:31
- Written by SCHA Administrator
- Hits: 262
Loren Shook's innovative career in health care began early on, on the grounds of Fairfax Hospital in Kirkland Washington. Fairfax was a psychiatric hospital which also provided dementia care to the most challenging patients that the nursing homes could not manage. The care provided was way ahead of the times, with passionate leaders giving the patients many areas of freedom and control over their lives. There were pets, children, and expansive grounds, rolling lawns, exotic plants and birds and other amenities for the patients to enjoy. Shook's parents worked there along with many other relatives, and Loren worked in all non-licensed positions from 15 years of age through his undergraduate program in business at the University of Washington.
He pursued a career in hospital administration, operating a chain of psychiatric hospitals for 20 years. After 20 years at Community Psychiatric Centers, he discovered Assisted Living and felt compelled to focus on serving the memory impaired. He came up with a model to incorporate the best of Assisted Living's social model with state-of-the-art health care expertise. This model included licensed nurses, medical directors, and MSWs surrounded by a holistic environment using pets, intergenerational programming, and inviting outdoor areas. Through university teaching research affiliations, he found his co-founders, Jim Smith and Steve Winner. The vision of the company is to "give life" and to change the world in which the way dementia is treated.
W. Major Chance' s story of innovation began nearly 25 years ago when he observed patients with Alzheimer's and dementia physically or chemically restrained due to their tendency to wander. In his view, this was an unacceptable way for a person to spend his or her life. The existing nursing home regulations did not allow for special treatment of these individuals, so Chance vowed to make a difference.
Determined to create change, he spent the next five years working with the Governor's office and officials in Sacramento to develop a program that meets the special needs of those with memory loss. The result was ActivCare, a residential memory care program which incorporates a custom-designed activity schedule for those with memory loss, administered by trained caregivers in specially designed residential communities. The ActivCare program of structured activities is designed to maintain the highest functioning level of each resident while enhancing self-esteem.
ActivCare residential memory care has served more than 4,000 residents since its inception in 1988. Chance's company, originally called Health CareGroup, recently announced its name change to ActivCare Living, reflecting its shift to solely focus on residential memory loss care. Their newest community that recently opened in Carlsbad, California represents the newest generation in memory care communities activity schedule to restore feelings of usefulness and socialization and much more.