Caldwell Alzheimer’s Unit
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive, irreversible, neurological disorder. This disease destroys memory and important mental functions.
In the fall of 1985, Erwin Health Care’s Administrator and Director of Nursing met with Earl Caldwell at a Tennessee Health Care Association event. Mr. Caldwell’s wife has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of forty-two. This experience made Mr. Caldwell an expert in caring for a loved one in need of memory care. During this meeting, the possibility of a specialized memory care facility for residents with Alzheimer’s Disease was born.
Erwin Health Care began to research the criteria for the residents admitted to that unit and understand the level of care they would require. Then staff members were required to take a class about Alzheimer’s and dementia taught by a variety of health care professionals, such as Dr. Hamby at East Tennessee State University.
On March 17, 1986, Erwin Health Care Center opened the first Alzheimer’s unit in the State of Tennessee.
In order to provide the most secure unit, the Administrator had to meet with several health-related boards, as well as the Governor, and the Commissioner of Health. These meetings were required to obtain permission to secure the doors of the unit. At the time, there were no secured units in long-term care facilities. Ewin Health Care made the case that the doors needed to be secured, not to lock residents in, but to give them the freedom to safely move throughout the unit.
Thirty-three years later, the Caldwell Alzheimer’s Unit continues to provide quality care for residents who require a secured unit. We provide ongoing education for our staff as the knowledge about Alzheimer’s Disease continues to improve. We take pride in our memory care facility and hope you will contact us to learn more!