Dementia Training

Health Services Research reported that facilities with high numbers of dementia residents need better trained and more staff for the health, safety, and well-being of the vulnerable adults under their care and supervision according to a study out of University of California, Irvine. More than 40% of people in nursing homes have Alzheimer’s disease, related dementia or cognitive impairment–that is often why people move into a nursing home.

The Dec. 29 study shows that increased staffing and hours per resident day are consistently linked to higher care quality, but in ways that differ markedly between high- and low-dementia facilities. Generally, adding more staff members improves outcomes for residents. But that’s a bit different when a facility has residents with dementia who need extra care given by people trained to care for them.

Our findings highlight the fact that high-quality care involves not only increased staffing, but also specialized training in practices proven to be effective in managing the complexities of this condition, as well as providing a secure environment and maintaining staff consistency. 

–Dana Mukamel, PhD, a study author and professor of medicine at UCI.

The study also noted that the impact on care differed by percentage of residents with dementia at each facility, and various outcomes such as performance of daily activities, including independently bathing, dressing, and eating as well as the number of emergency room visits and incidents of pressure sores.