According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are presently over 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with the number projected to rise to 14 million by 2050. In Washington State, Alzheimer’s disease is the 3rd leading cause of death. On average, healthcare costs for persons with dementia are more than 80% higher than those for people with heart disease or cancer.
As identified in a March 2016 white paper from the AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine entitled “Dementia in Care Transitions,” a likely source of enhanced costs in those with dementia is “the higher incidence of transitions with the resultant hospitalizations, duplicative testing, adverse drug events, delirium and other eventualities due in part to deficient handoffs between care sites or due to unnecessary transitions in care site.”
Our healthcare system is failing older adults and their families, especially those living with dementia. Patients with cognitive impairment face unique barriers and challenges in transitions of care. In this presentation, we’ll explore what those barriers are and how we, as providers and practitioners, can work together more intentionally to ensure optimal care transitions that provide better health outcomes. We’ll explore how communication, patient capacity, medication, education and training can all play a role in improving transitions for patients living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
1. Understand the unique barriers in transitions of care for patients living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias
2. Recognize and discuss how patient-centered care, rather than disease-focused care, is essential to the well-being and optimal care transitions of a patient-client living with dementia
3. Describe at least three strategies to optimize care for people living with dementia in the acute care environment.
4. Identify at least three approaches to promote successful care transitions for individuals living with dementia.