ComfortCare Homes Believes in Dignity as Best Practice in Dementia Care
When Charles and Mary Lou Stark founded ComfortCare Homes in 1992, the first FDA-approved drug specifically targeting Alzheimer’s disease was a year away. The first World Alzheimer’s Day wouldn’t be celebrated until 1994. And nearly all memory care placements in Kansas were located in large, clinical institutions. Although the industry appeared to be trending towards larger, hospital-like apartment settings, the Starks knew that a more progressive model of care was possible.
The Starks’ experiences in caring for their own parents at home taught them the importance of building a care program that had at its core a deeply held belief in the dignity of all people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. That belief has informed best practices at ComfortCare Homes for more than 25 years and under the leadership of Charles and Mary Lou’s son Doug Stark, continues to guide all levels of the organization.
One of the most important innovations developed at ComfortCare Homes is our understanding that people afflicted with dementia need professional care, but they also better receive the benefits of that care in a home setting. It’s intuitive that familiar environments can help to reduce stress and anxiety for those suffering from dementia; what may be surprising is the holistic impact that can have on the over-reliance on medications, the stress for caregivers and the relationships between family members. That’s why ComfortCare Homes aren’t just in “home-like” settings, they are actual homes. It’s a small change in how we care for people that makes all the difference in the world.
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