Creating Opportunities – How The Winne Lind Fund Supports ‘Best Practices’ in Dementia Care

A generous $100,000 gift in the memory of Winne Lind is helping Judson create a new state-of-the-art model for person-centered dementia care.

Mrs. Lind was a Judson Park resident for seven years until her death in 2014. The newly created Winne Lind Fund is a gift from her son and daughter-in-law Tom and Kathi Lind, and will play a crucial role in enhancing care for residents and families grappling with the challenges of dementia.

“My mother was incredibly strong and very independent,” says Mr. Lind. “After the early death of my father, she worked and lived on her own for the better part of 40 years. But by the time she recognized the early signs of dementia, it was beyond her ability to control. Judson was a great place for my mother, and her years there were a very positive experience. But in conversations with the staff, we realized there is still so much that caregivers don’t know about the illness.”

Mr. Lind’s sister, The Very Rev.Tracey Lind, Dean of Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland, is a member of the Judson Services, Inc. Board of Directors and what Tom Lind calls the “moral support” behind his financial gift. Dean Lind points out there are unique challenges to dementia care, especially the fact that it becomes so hard for the person to clearly communicate their wishes. “In many ways, dementia causes adults to lose adult-like behavior. The challenge for caregivers is to recognize they are not dealing with a child,” she says. “This is an adult whose dignity and wishes, especially for end-of-life care, must be understood and respected.”

To that end, the Winne Lind Fund is specifically aimed at supporting resident-centered understanding, says Cynthia Dunn, president and CEO of Judson Services, Inc. “One of our biggest learnings so far has been the launch of personalized training programs for all staff members, designed to help them become extremely good at listening to a person’s life story.”

With its focus on individuals in need of end-of-life care, the model is intensely personal, says Ms. Dunn, and “quite the opposite of a cookie-cutter approach. By really understanding who our residents are and what they want — even when they can no longer tell us — we can enhance their lives in a way that supports their choices.”

The fund also provides for ongoing program evaluation, education, research, training and promotion of “best practices” in dementia care at Judson. “By providing really good staff training and development, and education to families about how to help their loved ones live out their lives with dignity, our hope is that Judson can become a leader in dementia care — not for just Northeast Ohio but around the world,” says Dean Lind.

“The Linds are certainly raising the bar with this gift,” says Ms. Dunn. “It’s a wonderful tribute to their mother, but beyond that it’s a way for all of us who are looking toward the future and its challenges, especially in the Baby Boomer generation, to ensure our stories are learned and honored. We all want to be known for the choices we make, whether it’s the music we like or the clothes we wear. And that applies to the choices we make about our final days.”

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