Residents of the new dimensions unit at Good Samaritan Society-Hays are showing improvement after just a few days of a new behavior-based ergonomics therapy program.

Unit residents’ families attended an information session Thursday evening led by Dr. Govind Bharwani, professor and co-director of ergonomics and Alzheimer’s care at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

“This is the only program in the nation which is customized for individualized residents,” Bharwani said.

The program benefits include a reduction of falls, challenging behaviors and the use of behavior medications. Residents eat and sleep better, and personal care is less stressful for residents and caregivers, he said.

Peggy Arias, new dimensions unit coordinator, said a shift change is less chaotic since they started with BBET.

All 16 residents of the unit ate in the commons room one evening.

“I’ve never seen it in a year and a half,” Arias said.

“The results that we’re already seeing within just two days of using the program is amazing. We’ve seen improved behavior, improved engagements of the patients, and the staff really appreciates it as well,” said Dr. Katrina Hess, Good Samaritan medical director.

BBET uses ergonomics and neuroscience research to provide therapeutic activities including music, videos, cognitive stimulation and memory props to engage residents in a meaningful way.

The therapy program has received six national awards for its impact on the quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Families can use BBET therapies during their visits to loved ones.

Bharwani gave those attending some strategies to use when they visit, such as using short words and sitting on the resident’s left side and doing more touching than talking.

“We want to do the best we can for them,” one of the family members said.