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Friday, December 13, 2013

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

In 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Initiative to Improve Behavioral Health and Reduce Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Homes.

This national action plan is using a multidimensional approach to reduce antipsychotic use in nursing homes across the country and encourages a person-centered approach to care in these sites. Unfortunately, staff in nursing homes do not feel equipped to implement non-pharmacological approaches and have asked for education on their use with residents who display behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).

This toolkit was conceptualized as a compendium of peer-reviewed/expert-endorsed existing resources that would assist staff in the implementation of non-pharmacological strategies for BPSD. Further, the toolkit would be readily accessible and include: staff educational programs for non-pharmacological approaches; methods for assessing behaviors; person-centered interventions; and system-wide methods for integrating interventions into the culture of care.

Who is the Toolkit for?

The Toolkit is intended for use in any type of senior living community, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and continuing care retirement communities, and targets professional and paraprofessional staff in all departments, including the executive director, administrators, department supervisors; nurses, physicians, mental health professionals, social workers, and recreational therapists.

What is in the Toolkit?

The Toolkit, developed with support from the Commonwealth Fund and the John A. Hartford Foundation, uses a comprehensive framework that consists of explicating a person-centered philosophical stance, and an overview of evidence-based resources.

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