DAYTON— The Alzheimer’s Association announced it is recruiting assisted-living communities and nursing homes across Ohio to participate in a new research study aimed at facilitating the adoption and use of dementia care recommendations to enhance care for residents living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia in long-term care settings. Efforts to improve dementia care in Ohio is a primary focus of the million-dollar Dementia Care Practice Recommendations Project, launched by the Alzheimer’s Association in October.
“The Alzheimer’s Association is excited to partner with assisted-living communities and nursing homes in Ohio to study the best ways we can ensure adoption and use of the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations (DCPR),” said Psychosocial Research & Fund Management director Lorna Prophater. “These recommendations were developed in consultation with leading dementia care experts and offer guidance to help nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and other long-term care and community care providers deliver optimal quality, person-centered care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia.”
Currently there are more than six million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, including 220,000 in Ohio. It is estimated that nearly 60% of older adults with Alzheimer’s or other dementias reside in the community (outside a hospital or clinical setting). About 25% of these individuals live alone, but the remainder receives care from family members, unpaid caregivers, and community-based and residential care providers. By age 80, 75% of people with Alzheimer’s dementia are admitted to a nursing home. The new recommendations are aimed at guiding care in these settings.
“The recommendations emphasize high-quality, person-centered care for people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia,” said Sam Fazio, PhD., senior director of Psychosocial Research with the Alzheimer’s Association. “Person-centered dementia care has been shown to have positive effects for residents with regard to quality of life, decreased agitation, improved sleep patterns, and maintenance of self-esteem. These practices have been successful in decreasing behavioral symptoms and psychotropic medication use in residents with dementia in long-term care.”
Released in 2018, the Alzheimer’s Association DCPR outline 56 specific care recommendations across 10 content areas intersecting with dementia care, including diagnosis, care management and workforce. The recommendations are based on a comprehensive review of evidence, best practices, and expert opinion.
The current research study will examine the effectiveness of using an Alzheimer’s Association coach in helping long-term care settings facilitate the adoption and implementation of the recommendations. The Alzheimer’s Association is looking to recruit 80 or more Ohio-based assisted-living communities and nursing homes to participate in the study. Findings from the study will be used to develop a national strategy for implementing the recommendations in long-term and community-based care settings across the country. Smaller pilot studies were conducted with Dayton-area assisted living communities in 2019 and expanded to nursing homes in Washington State and Montana in 2020.
Ohio-based assisted-living communities and nursing homes interested in participating or learning more about the current research study are encouraged to contact Lorna Prophater at [email protected]