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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.

Regulatory Guidance

The following three checklists are used by CMS' surveyors to monitor skilled nursing facilities' compliance with various regulations. You can perform your own internal review with the same checklists to ensure you are meeting all the selected requirements. 

(Note: The entire set of 40+ checklists is bundled together as a ZIP file on the Medicare website. Any updates to the forms will be published there first.)

An excerpt of the Appendix PP from the State Operations Manual, (relating to F-tags 742-744) can also be helpful to assess your facility's performance with these issues. (Or, download the entire Appendix.)

General Resources

Antipsychotic "Hot Topics" tools
Produced by HealthInsight New Mexico. Note: To access the latest resources, click the link above then scroll down the page and click the bar entitled "Half-Hour Hot Topics (New Mexico 2018-2019)"

Alzheimer's Association 2018 Dementia Care Practice Recommendations
Get an overview of all 56 recommendations, or read the full set of articles published as a February 2018 supplement to The Gerontologist.

Iowa Geriatric Education Center
Registration is required to access these free resources.
An extensive set of training videos, pocket guides, and other resources.

Hand in Hand Training Series
CMS requires that nurse aides receive regular training on caring for residents with dementia and on preventing abuse. The (free) Hand in Hand series is one of the options facilities can use to meet this requirement. Download materials for the instructor-led version or access the self-paced online version.

Person-Directed Care
For other useful ideas to best support residents with dementia, review our selections related to person-directed care.

Nonpharmacologic Approaches

Music & Memory:  national organization and Washington state organization
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.

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

Improving Nighttime Sleep for People with Dementia
Read tips related to preventing nighttime distress and reducing daytime naps.

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


Behavior Monitoring Form
Use this form to track incidents that may indicate (or rule out) a resident's need for antipsychotic medication.

Appropriate Medication Use: Measurement and Improvement
National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign
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)
Registration is required to access this free resource.
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.

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.