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Dementia Care

Local Expertise

Hear how featured Idaho and Washington facilities have reduced antipsychotic uses in their nursing homes.

The Steps to Succeeding in Reducing Long-Stay Antipsychotics, recorded June 2016

Reducing Antipsychotic Medication Use, recorded March 2016


Rates of Antipsychotics Use in WA

View the results of our analysis examining Washington physicians' rates of antipsychotics use for the management of dementia symptoms in the Medicare population.

The risks of giving antipsychotic medications to dementia patients generally outweigh any potential benefits; read the recommendations against this practice from AMDA, the American Geriatrics Society, and the American Psychiatric Association.

General Resources

Best Practice Tip Sheet for Dementia Care
Qualis Health

Extensive set of tools! (Registration is required, but access is free.)

Iowa Geriatric Education Center
Training videos, pocket guides, and other resources are available from the University of Iowa.

Antipsychotic Reductions in Long-Term Care Settings
Greater Lebanon Center (National Nursing Home Quality Campaign)

Training and change ideas
ConsultGeri (Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing)

Waugh Consulting's blog
A self-proclaimed out-of-the-box thinker, Diane Waugh is a long-term care consultant whose blog can be a source of ideas and motivation.

Nonpharmacologic Approaches

Imagine if we considered locked doors in memory care wards as restraints
Dr. Al Power, a renowned expert in dementia care, challenges our thinking about locked units—reminding us we should be focusing on meeting the unmet needs of the person living with dementia through person-centered approaches.

A Systematic Evidence Review of Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia
Veterans Affairs

Antipsychotic Alternatives
TMF Health Quality Institute

Compassionate Touch
Skilled touch that eases distress in people with dementia AND their care-partners

Music & Memory
This non-profit organization trains elder care professionals how to set up personalized music playlists, delivered on iPods and other digital devices, for those in their care.

Activity Ideas for People with Dementia
New York State Department of Health
Provides inexpensive activities ideas tailored to residents with dementia.

Create Connect: Creative Activity Workbook
Offers ideas for music, dance, collage, and other creative pursuits tailored to dementia residents.

Managing Personality and Behavior Changes
While written for family caregivers, this two-page flyer offers concrete tips for interacting with people with dementia.

Promoting Positive Behavioral Health:
A Non-Pharmacologic Toolkit for Senior Living Communities

Psychological Services in Long-Term Care Resource Guide
American Psychological Association

Communication and Alzheimer's
Outlines recommended ways to communicate with patients in the early, mid, and late stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Ideas to promote mobility for, and prevent falls by, persons with dementia

Tips for Improving the Sleep of People with Dementia

Education for Residents' Families

Offer this two-page flyer (available in English or Spanish) to residents' families in order to help them understand why antipsychotics should not be used as a first treatment for dementia symptoms.

Medication Use

Appropriate Medication Use: Measurement and Improvement
Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes
Learn how to set goals, identify baseline measures, and make improvements related to medication usage.

Updated Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults (2015)
American Geriatrics Society Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) continue to be prescribed and used as treatment for older adults, despite evidence of poor outcomes from the use of PIMs in older adults. This update of the previous Beers Criteria uses a comprehensive, systematic review and grading of the evidence on drug-related problems and adverse drug events (ADEs) in older adults.

Regulatory Guidance

CMS issued the following in May 2013:

  • Guidance for nursing home surveyors on unnecessary medications and appropriate care planning for people with dementia
  • Three mandatory training videos for surveyors related to dementia and antipsychotic drug use

Case Studies

See how facilities located in Idaho (recorded webinar or PowerPoint slides), Pennsylvania (video) and Oklahoma (video) have been successful in improving the care of persons with dementia.