Dementia Care Digest


                Official newsletter of  

Dementia Care Professionals of America

a branch of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America

New Look

DCPA is excited to introduce the new name, new look, and new publication schedule of our e-newsletter.

New name: Dementia Care Digest (formerly CareDaily).

New look: You're looking at it! 

New publication schedule: The first Tuesday of each month.

We hope that Dementia Care Digest will provide you with helpful information and resources, as well as inspiration from others working in the dementia field.

Stay in Touch
We want to hear from you!  Contact Kristen Cribbs, AFA's national care standards manager, with questions, comments or suggestions.
Get Trained
DCPA offers a variety of training options to provide you with maximum flexibility and potential customization.  For more information, visit our website.

AFA Spotlight
   AFA and Perkins Eastman release a white paper, "Excellence in Design: Optimal Living Space for People With Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias." 


Attend AFA's "5 Boroughs Concepts in Care" educational conference, with a specific track for healthcare professionals, in New York on September 12.


Hear expert speakers on  free, monthly teleconference, Care Connection.

Stay Informed

If your email has changed, please join AFA's mailing list to update your contact information.

August 2014/Issue 1
 CEO's Message

The U.S. is facing a critical juncture in dementia care. With the incidence of dementia on the rise, there has never been a greater need for healthcare professionals to be equipped with comprehensive dementia education and an understanding of the importance of high-quality, person-centered care.


Dementia Care Professionals of America (DCPA), the membership and training division of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), is evolving to meet new challenges associated with this healthcare crisis.  By providing professionals with practical, flexible and accessible dementia training and opportunities for continuing professional development, we are setting standards of excellence and seeking to help guide established healthcare employees as well as attract and prepare the next generation of professionals to care for this vulnerable population.


To this end, more than ever before, DCPA is offering more on-site and virtual training opportunities, in addition to its long-standing DVD-based training; training healthcare workers across all settings, including university students; and developing new educational tools for our DCPA members, such as this newly-revised e-newsletter.  We hope that you will find these efforts beneficial in your work. 


Thank you for your commitment to providing optimal dementia care.  We look forward to working together to raise the bar on dementia care nationwide.



Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

DCPA Happenings
2014 Dementia Care Professional of the Year Award Nominations Now Being Accepted!

DCPA is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Dementia Care Professional of the Year Award. This distinction, awarded annually, recognizes doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, nursing assistants, home health aides, psychologists, ministers, dementia care administrators, and others who go above and beyond to provide the highest quality dementia care. Professionals do not need to be affiliated with AFA or its member organizations to be considered. Nomination submission deadline: September 1, 2014. 


DCPA Trains Undergraduate Nursing Students


In Spring 2014, DCPA trained and awarded AFA qualification to approximately 150 undergraduate nursing students at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City.


The professionally-facilitated workshops incorporated experiential learning techniques, including case studies, role play, and breakout activities, to provide students with a vast array of competencies in dementia. 


Following the workshops, students completed the DCPA Series 1 and 2 exams to pursue qualification as AFA Dementia Care Providers and AFA Dementia Care Specialists.


As one trainee noted:

"[We] wished we had gotten this opportunity earlier on... so we would have had the tools and resources to be more effective when caring for clients with dementia from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, etc. ...We really appreciate your positive attitudes that helped to encourage participation and exchange of information ..."


Learn more about on-site and virtual training opportunities.
On the Job: Tips for Providing Optimal Care
Report Examines Common Occurrence of Incontinence 


The National Center for Health Statistics recently published a report that documents the occurrence of incontinence among adults aged 65 and older across care settings--a condition that, the report notes, can be emotionally, physically and financially burdensome to the individual, as well as to family and professional caregivers, and can have "serious implications for quality of life, caregiving, and service delivery."

The report found the greatest incidence of difficulty controlling bladder and/or bowel functions among persons receiving hospice care (62.1 percent), followed by noninstitutionalized persons (50.9 percent), recipients of home health care (45.4 percent), and long-term care residents (39 percent).

'Alive Inside' Explores the Power of Music Therapy

"Alive Inside," the recipient of the Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, is a powerful documentary that explores the ways in which music can activate and revitalize the minds, bodies and souls of individuals with cognitive impairment.  Read more about the film.  Watch the trailer (below).
Alive Inside Official Trailer 1 (2014) - Alzheimer's Documentary HD
"Alive Inside" Official Trailer 1 (2014) - Alzheimer's Documentary HD

In the News
  • Job opportunities for healthcare workers with less education than a bachelor's degree are on the rise, according to a new Brookings Institution report. Workers with less than a bachelor's degree in the 10 largest healthcare occupations total 3.8 million, composing 49 percent of the total healthcare workforce in the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. The employees are racially and ethnically diverse, and overwhelmingly female. Occupations with the highest numbers of pre-baccalaureate workers include nursing, psychiatric and home health aides (1.2 million), registered nurses (680,000), personal care aides (542,000), and licensed practical nurses (343,000).

  • Researchers at the University of Victoria, Canada, and the University of California-Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center, have found that early life experiences such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy may have a greater influence on a person's risk of cognitive impairment late in life than demographic characteristics like race and ethnicity.

  • A recent review of 17 different pieces of research found that outdoor spaces and gardens at care homes can promote relaxation, facilitate engagement, reduce agitation, stimulate memories, and have other therapeutic benefits for people with dementia. The study, led by researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom, also noted several factors that must be overcome if gardens are to be useful, including understanding a garden's possible hazards to residents. Read about the studyWatch one of the paper's authors discuss the findings.

  • Results from a recent study, conducted by scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, found that measuring both a person's gait speed-
    -i.e., manner of walking--and cognitive abilities can help to predict the likelihood of developing pre-dementia. Study participants who met the criteria for motoric cognitive risk syndrome (MCR)--i.e., abnormally slow gait and cognitive complaints--were nearly twice as likely to develop dementia over the following 12 years compared with people who did not.

Care in Action

DCPA values your commitment to providing compassionate, creative, person-centered dementia care and believes that raising the bar on dementia care nationwide stems from working together and learning from one another's experiences.  In order to showcase the good work that you do, each month, beginning in September, Dementia Care Digest will feature an article about a DCPA member. Stories will also be posted to our Care in Action blog, which we hope will become a resource for, and inspiration to, you in your work.  Experience something memorable from your work with an individual who has dementia and/or his/her family?  Develop a unique/creative approach to solve a problem?  Attend an interesting conference?  Share your story for potential publication.

 Continuing Education
Recent research indicates that 30 to 50 percent of patients discharged from the hospital may experience problems with cognition that they did not have prior to being admitted. Delirium--i.e., temporary, acute confusion-- is one of the most common and troublesome post-operative and intensive care unit (ICU) issues.

While many people who experience delirium following a hospitalization bounce back, older people--especially those with neurodegenerative diseases--have a more difficult time returning to their pre-hospital state.

Read about how hospitalization places some people at risk for cognitive decline in an article, written by Jamie Talan, in the Summer 2014 issue of care ADvantage (p. 14-17), and take the corresponding Dementia Care Digest quiz to earn one Continuing Education Unit (CEU)*.

*Professionals who are sanctioned as AFA Qualified Dementia Care Providers or AFA Qualified Dementia Care Specialists must renew their AFA qualification every two years by obtaining four CEUs.

Every hour of continuing education equals one credit. 30 minutes of content equals 0.5 credits. A program of less than 30 minutes in total is not applicable, and all intervals of less than 30 minutes are rounded down to the nearest 30-minute mark.

Completion of each Dementia Care Digest quiz equals one CEU.

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