Updated OSHA guidelines target workplace safety, health
(Getty Images)

Nonphysician caregivers in assisted living communities, nursing homes and other long-term care and community care settings are the intended audience for new dementia care practice recommendations released Thursday by the Alzheimer’s Association.

The 56 recommendations span 10 content areas and are grounded in the fundamentals of person-centered care throughout the progression of the disease, according to the association. They were developed by 27 dementia care experts and are based on current evidence, best practices and expert opinion.

In addition to updating existing recommendations already familiar to the dementia caregivers, the recommendations offer new guidance to nonphysician residential and community-based care providers on detection, diagnosis and ongoing medical management — topic areas usually reserved for clinicians.

“Detection and diagnosis and medical management are critical, vital areas of care,” said Sam Fazio, Ph.D., lead author and director of quality care and psychosocial research at the Alzheimer’s Association. “While clinicians must continue to take a lead role in these areas, there are important contributions dementia care providers can make to improve outcomes in these areas.”

Some of the other topics covered include assessment and care planning; ongoing care for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia; support of activities in daily living; staffing; and transitions and coordination of services.

The recommendations are posted online now and will be published in a supplement to the February issue of The Gerontologist.

The Alzheimer’s Association said it formally will share the information with policymakers and others at a Feb. 14 event on Capitol Hill during which Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), chairman and member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, respectively, will make remarks.

In conjunction with the recommendations, the Alzheimer’s Association released a separate report, “A Guide to Quality Care from the Perspectives of People Living with Dementia,” that offers insights into how those with dementia view quality care and what they want from care providers.