Image of the Meadow Park Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center facility

Meadow Park Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center is a 120-bed facility in Catonsville, MD (Credit: Meadow Park)

Image of Nikki Gachot, Marquis Consulting
Nikki Gachot, Marquis Consulting

Meadow Park Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Catonsville, MD, has joined a palliative care study that it says will help change how the long-term care industry provides dementia care. (Palliative care provides patients with medical, emotional and spiritual support to help relieve symptoms and stress.) 

Over five years, the 120-bed skilled nursing facility plans to engage residents in a federally funded research program titled, “Utilizing Palliative Leaders in Facilities to Transform Care for Alzheimer’s Disease” (UPLIFT-AD). As a participant, it will receive a $15,000 grant, gain the support of the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work and collaborate with Gilchrist, a nonprofit provider of serious illness and end-of-life care. 

McKnight’s Clinical Daily got the lowdown on Meadow Park’s plans from ​​Nikki Gachot, regional director of market development for Marquis Health Consulting Services, the facility’s administrative consulting partner.

Q: How did Meadow Park/Marquis become connected with the UPLIFT-AD palliative care study?

A: Marquis and Meadow Park already were in discussions with Gilchrist about forming a partnership that would introduce palliative care services at Meadow Park when the UPLIFT study was introduced. Gilchrist approached us with the opportunity to get involved.

Q: What inspired Meadow Park to join the study?

A: This is a study with the potential to transform our industry’s approach to caring for skilled nursing residents with dementia diagnoses, and extend their longevity. As a facility committed to progressive skilled nursing care, Meadow Park is excited about the chance to contribute to such meaningful research.

Q: Is palliative care a new service at Meadow Park?

A: Palliative care is a new introduction at Meadow Park, and our collaborative partnership with Gilchrist extends facilitywide. Outside the UPLIFT program — which is specific to Meadow Park’s long-term care residents with dementia diagnoses — the facility is currently introducing palliative care for its resident population with chronic illnesses, such as congestive heart failure and COPD.

Q: Who will the program be offered to and how will residents be made aware of it?

A: The UPLIFT program is specifically available to residents with dementia diagnoses. The UMD School of Social Work provided opt-out letters to these residents and/or their caregivers. To participate, Meadow Park needed to enroll 40 participants, and they had 43 for the launch.

Moving ahead, Meadow Park will continue to evaluate new admissions and existing residents transitioning from short-term to long-term care as possible candidates to join the study.

Q: How will the program benefit residents with advanced dementia?

A: Palliative care focuses on providing emotional and spiritual support as part of the clinical care experience. The goal of the program is to determine whether palliative care interventions can extend life expectancy for long-term care residents with dementia. The goals of providing an added layer of emotional and spiritual support include relief of symptoms and stress. In that respect, the immediate benefits of this program tie to enhanced quality of life for residents and their loved ones.

Q: How will these services be integrated into Meadow Park’s lineup?

A: It can be best described as an added layer, but one that blends seamlessly with clinical care. In short, the Gilchrist team is collaborating with the Meadow Park care team to provide a holistic focus on both spiritual and physical wellness.

Q: Who will provide care services or training?

A: A team of nurse practitioners from Gilchrist is providing the services. They are also providing the Meadow Park team with insight on the practice of palliative care and teaching them to help identify residents who might be appropriate for the UPLIFT study.

Q: How will the Meadow Park clinical staff collaborate with Gilchrist and UMD?

A: Gilchrist’s team is working directly with Meadow Park’s director of nursing and director of social work. Gilchrist will be providing the palliative care overlay directly. Certain data collected via Meadow Park’s ERM system throughout the study period will be used by the UMD School of Social Work team in its research.

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