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How Griswold Prioritizes Brain Health with the Cognitive Enhancement Program Powered by BCAT®

The innovative tool offers a vital window into a client's cognitive state, allowing caregivers to provide care attuned to the individual's needs.

With June being Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, it is a crucial time to recognize the significance of cognitive health. Griswold, the non-medical home care franchise with over 170 units, takes great pride in its dedication to looking beyond the physical needs of its clients by providing innovative home care through the implementation of unique programs like their Cognitive Enhancement Program powered by the BCAT® Approach.  

The BCAT® Test System is used worldwide by a variety of professionals across multiple settings from acute care and throughout post-acute settings. It is used in healthcare by psychologists, nursing professionals, rehab professionals, care managers and social services, as well as in home-based programs and anywhere older adults are aging in place. The BCAT® Test System is unique in that it provides objective measures to determine cognitive abilities and the impact on function.

Amanda Lepore, Griswold's Director of Learning and Development, emphasizes the value of the BCAT® program in Griswold's operations. "It is one of the only non-medical cognitive assessments out there, which is a perfect fit for Griswold, as almost two-thirds of the population who are experiencing cognitive decline are undiagnosed. Being able to get a better idea of how our clients think and feel through this program allows Griswold to not only match the best caregiver, but work with families to put a plan in place based on the results of the assessment. It helps us to help families know when 'a little forgetfulness' becomes an indicator of something else and act accordingly."

The BCAT® Approach offers Griswold a holistic picture of each client. “Everyone is going out and assessing the physical environment: the home, meal preparation, bathing, grooming — but with the BCAT® Approach, we are able to see more than what we can see with our eyes,” Lepore said. “How someone thinks and feels, rather than their physical state, is almost a bigger indication of the type of care they need.”

For example, if a senior scores higher on anxiety, Griswold may match them with a caregiver who is more calm and relaxed, Lepore says.

By leveraging the Cognitive Enhancement Program powered by BCAT®, Griswold can establish an initial cognitive baseline for each client and regularly reassess it. "It is something that we can use repeatedly to see how someone is doing," Lepore explained. This ongoing reassessment provides an opportunity to identify potential cognitive decline early and tailor caregiving strategies to care for the whole person, not just their physical needs.

Further, since Griswold's caregivers are equipped with this crucial cognitive information about their clients, it helps them provide better care. “Recruitment is such a focus today in the home care industry, so being able to best equip our caregivers with what they need to do their best work is very important to us,” said Lepore.

Griswold’s commitment to the Cognitive Enhancement Program powered by BCAT® also helps franchisees bring in more referrals, says Lepore. “Every hospital or assisted living facility wants to make sure their seniors are going to be safe at home,” she said. “So, having a partner like Griswold in the home care space that can give a full assessment of a client is very valuable.”

One of the primary tools Griswold utilizes is the Cognitive Enhancement Program powered by BCAT®, which empowers trained staff to screen clients for cognitive decline in just a few minutes, identify specific cognitive enhancement programs, improve communication strategies and promote meaningful engagement and cognitive stimulation in the home.

And the BCAT® tools aren't limited to the professionals. Clients and their families can also use resources like the BCAT® Working Memory Exercise Book- Home Edition. This home-based workbook is designed to improve memory skills, promote independent living and maintain brain health. Meanwhile, the MemPics® Book series uses familiar pictures and stories to activate old memories, encouraging cognitive processing, stimulation, and engagement.

In short, Griswold's use of the BCAT® Approach represents the franchise’s innovative approach to home care. Beyond the physical, the company delves into the cognitive, ensuring its clients receive the holistic care they need. This focus on brain health aligns perfectly with the spirit of Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month — a time to acknowledge the importance of cognitive health, early detection and the drive for better care options.

"A lot of people wait to take care of their brain health until it is too late,” said Lepore. “Griswold leverages tools like The BCAT® to help our clients get ahead of things. We can’t cure Alzheimer's, but we can leverage this great program to provide crucial information to our clients and their families earlier and increase meaningful engagement with loved ones suffering from such an awful disease."

Franchise opportunities range from $95,850 to $174,100 including a $49,500 franchise fee. For more information about franchising with Griswold, please visit