The Charles T. Sitrin Health Care Center’s NeuroCare Program is entering its fourth year of operation. This 32-bed specialty unit for persons with Huntington’s Disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is the only one of its kind in upstate New York, and one of only nine in the United States. Additionally, it is one of four facilities recognized by New York state as a Neurodegenerative Disease Center of Excellence.
Although HD and ALS are terminal, debilitating diseases with no known cures, specialized residential care is crucial to improving the lives of individuals affected.
“When Sitrin opened its NeuroCare unit, word spread quickly – first throughout New York state – and later across the country,” said Christa Serafin, Sitrin president & CEO. “The initial, rapid influx of inquiries, both local and afar, speaks to the dire need for residential support services for individuals with HD and ALS.”
There is a great deal of friendly activity on Sitrin’s NeuroCare unit. Strong bonds are quickly formed between residents, staff and family members. Resident rooms are decorated with personal belongings and memorabilia, adding to the welcoming atmosphere. Residents enjoy nearly 750 activities and outings annually, including weekly theme parties, movie nights, community events and more.
This year, during the Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s Convention in Boston, Sitrin was presented with the Inaugural Long-Term Care Award. This was the first time the HDSA recognized a long-term care facility for providing outstanding care to individuals with HD. Sitrin was nominated by a family member of a resident with HD.
The NeuroCare program has also had many advancements. Sitrin staff invented a specialized nutrition plan, called the Huntington’s Disease Diet, which combines equal parts pureed and mechanical soft solid foods. This has revolutionized resident meal time, resulting in easier consumption and digestion. On average, a person with HD consumes 6,000 or more calories a day.
Through its many endeavors, Sitrin has changed the way residents, families and community members look at long-term care, and continues to be committed to pioneering health and wellness innovations.