Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare®
On January 18, 2018, the Alzheimer’s Association posted new recommendations for dementia care. “The 2018 Dementia Care Practice Recommendations were developed to better define quality care across all care settings and throughout the disease course. They are intended for professional care providers who work with individuals living with dementia and their families in residential and community based care settings.”
A Guide to Quality Care from the Perspectives of People Living with Dementia is a 20-page guide that “synthesizes the feedback received from survey respondents, as well as additional information obtained from individuals living with dementia throughout the 10 years of the Alzheimer’s Association Early-Stage Initiative. From this feedback, the following themes emerged as ways to provide quality care to people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias:
» Encourage early detection and diagnosis.
» Share appropriate information and education.
» Get to know the person.
» Maximize independence.
» Practice patience and compassion.
» Personalize care to meet individual needs and preferences.
» Adjust care approaches to reflect day-to-day needs and abilities.
» Provide ongoing opportunities for engagement that have meaning and purpose.
» Ensure coordination among those who provide care.
» Train staff on the most current disease information and practice strategies.
» Inform and include the individual in new interventions as appropriate.
» Create a safe and supportive environment that reflects the person’s characteristics, personality and preferences.
These themes are consistent with the preferences for individualization and autonomy expressed by individuals living with early-stage Alzheimer’s or other dementias through survey responses and the Association’s ongoing dialogue with this group.”
On the Alzheimer’s Association page (hyperlink provided in the first paragraph of this blog), you’ll find links to the recommendations posted in a supplement to the February 2018 issue of The Gerontologist. Additionally, you’ll also find the links to previous Alzheimer’s Association recommendations.
These recommendations and the Guide should be shared with all caregivers. A quote from the Conclusion in the Guide really says it all:
“Person-centered care is achieved when the preferences of the individual living with dementia remain at the core of caregiving. It also requires that the focus of care is flexible and can be adjusted based on the needs of the individual living with dementia rather than the needs of the care provider. For individuals living with dementia, person-centered care involves maintaining a sense of autonomy and control over one’s life and is essential to living a quality life throughout the course of the disease.”