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Training Adult Foster Home

Photo of the Training Adult Foster Home

Training Adult Foster Home is one of many Success Stories that have been locally nominated for recognition in celebration of CDBG's 30th Anniversary.

Success Story Details

Grantee: County of Washington, Oregon
Field Office: Portland (Region 10)
Carried Out By: LifeWorks Northwest (formally known as Tualatin Valley Mental Health)
Eligibility: 570.201(C)
Natl. Objective: 570.208 (a)(i)(A)
CDBG $340,934
Other $131,137
Total $472,071
Date Started: November, 1994
Date Completed: October, 1997
IDIS Activity No: N/A
Grantee Contact: Peggy A. Scheer (peggy_scheer@co.washington.or.us)
Grantee Website: Washington County Office of Community Development (http://www.co.washington.or.us/deptmts/comm_dev/comm_dev.htm)

Success Story Description

LifeWorks Northwest (formally known as Tualatin Valley Mental Health) is the leading non-profit provider organization in Washington County, Oregon devoted to mental health and addiction services to persons of all ages.

In 1993, LifeWorks Northwest was providing training opportunities to care givers of older adults through its Caregiver Training Services program. Class topics included coping with problem behaviors in older adults, recognizing and treating pain, medication management, activities for older adults, and caring for individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementia. At that same time the agency identified an emerging need for the housing and residential treatment of elderly persons who lived in the County and suffered from mental illness and Alzheimer's Disease.

The agency concluded that it needed to take a comprehensive approach to address the needs of these older citizens and decided it needed to design and furnish a new group home specifically for older persons who suffered from mental illness and Alzheimer's Disease. The new facility would incorporate progressive design features and provide living space for two in-house providers, a classroom for teaching, and observation posts for students. In addition, the program's design would foster an environment that would allow for hands-on training to other providers of adult foster care facilities in the environmental and behavioral management techniques used in the treatment of people with these disorders.

In 1997, with the aid of a $340,934 CDBG award for design and construction costs, LifeWorks Northwest opened the 3,000 sq.-ft. 5-bedroom facility that included many cutting-edge design features. Each half-bath had either a pocket door or a standard hinged door to allow for an evaluation of which type of door was easier for residents in wheelchairs or using walkers to manage. Each bedroom opened onto a wide hallway which was intended as a walking track for residents.

The activity/training room was designed to serve three different functions:

  1. provide an intentional space for group therapeutic activities,
  2. classroom training space for small groups of other care providers, and
  3. medication dispensing station reflecting the agency's belief that medications should be dispensed from a location other than the kitchen which is the common practice in many foster homes.

Since the opening of the Training Adult Foster Home, these features, along with many others incorporated into the design of the facility, have allowed LifeWorks Northwest to keep approximately 100 of these low to-moderate income special needs residents functioning at the highest level possible, while providing them with a safe and clean environment. At the same time, the agency has enabled approximately 250 low to-moderate income client providers to learn, observe and participate in the care of older persons who suffered from mental illness and Alzheimer's Disease.

Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
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Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112 TTY: (202) 708-1455