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

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.

September 2014/Issue 2
A Message from AFA's National Care Standards Manager

Continuing education is critical in order to provide optimal care to the people we serve with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.  Embracing opportunities to learn about best practices in care and to gain new skills, whether through hearing expert presenters or sharing ideas with peers, enables us to grow professionally and to feel connected to the larger dementia care community.

Myriad vehicles exist today for continuing education:  on-site conferences, Webinars, teleconferences, twitter chats, and newsletters.

Among them, join the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) for its free, annual educational conference, "5 Boroughs Concepts in Care," in New York City on September 12. The conference's specialized track for dementia care professionals, like you, will highlight topics most relevant to the work that you do. 

Throughout the day, you will hear renowned experts in the field, including dementia care trainer Teepa Snow, discuss best practices in dementia care and provide hands-on, practical skills training.  During breakout sessions, you will have the opportunity to network and share resources with both like-minded professionals and family caregivers from across the country. 


We hope you will take advantage of this exciting chance to network, learn, and grow professionally.  For more information or to register for the conference, please contact us.  We look forward to seeing you on September 12!  And be on the look-out for other continuing educational opportunities from AFA and DCPA throughout the year.


In health,


  Kristen Cribbs, MPH, QDCS

  National Care Standards Manager  

  Alzheimer's Foundation of America 


On the Job: Tips for Providing Optimal Care

SCAN Foundation Creates 'Transforming Life as We Age' Series

The SCAN Foundation's new "Transforming Life as We Age"
series showcases articles and videos that are geared towards facilitating independence and maintaining choice as we age. Topics include financing professional care, long-term care options, and fostering a network of care.


Article Highlights Complexity of Feeding During End of Life in Hospitals


A recent New York Times article discusses the reluctance of practitioners and families to withhold nutrition from people who are dying in the hospital-as seen through the lens of one family whose loved one had dementia.  The article's author, Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter, an attending physican at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif., highlights the many complications that often arise as a result of inserting a feeding tube in dying people who have dementia, a care technique that occurs frequently in the hospital setting during the end of life; complications can include bleeding, infections, exacerbated delirium, and diminished senses. The "medicalization of food," the author suggested, "deprives the dying of some of the last remnants of the human experience: taste, smell, touch, and connection to loved ones."


'The Genius of Marian' Explores Impact of Alzheimer's on Female Caregivers


In "The Genius of Marian," documentary filmmaker Banker White shares the moving story of his mother's experience with young-onset Alzheimer's disease and the family's struggle to come to terms with the illness. Premiering nationally on PBS on September 8, the film offers an intimate view into the physical, emotional and mental impact of caregiving, especially among female family members. Read more about the film.  Watch the trailer (below). 

"The Genius of Marian" Official Trailer
In the News
  • A recent New York Times article raised uncertainty about the reliability of Medicare's five-star rating system for nursing homes, a system that originated in 2009 and has become the gold standard across the industry.  The Times' examination of the rating system revealed that ratings, which are comprised of annual health inspection results, staffing, and quality measures, are largely based on self-reported data by nursing homes that is not verified by the federal government.

  • The California Supreme Court recently ruled that home health aides cannot sue clients with Alzheimer's disease for injury incurred on the job. The ruling extends the legal doctrine "primary assumption of risk" beyond institutions that provide care to individuals with Alzheimer's disease to the home setting. The legal principle maintains that workers, such as police officers and fire fighters, who perform jobs known to be dangerous cannot seek payment from clients when accidents or injuries occur on the job.  

  • In response to an uptick in the recent number of reported abuse or neglect cases among older adults received by Kentucky's Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), a new Kentucky law calls for an online registry to document misconduct by professional caregivers.  Once the registry goes live, caregiving facilities, private family employers and groups that accept volunteers who work with seniors and adults with impairments, can view professionals who have been identified through a DCBS investigation as a perpetrator of abuse, neglect or exploitation. In 2013, the agency received 8,613 reports related to adults aged 60 years and older, accounting for approximately one-fourth of all reports for adults 18+.

  • A new United Hospital Fund and AARP Public Policy Institute report highlights the challenges faced by family caregivers of individuals with complex chronic conditions, including cognitive and behavioral health conditions.  In addition to high levels of self-reported depression (47 percent), a majority of caregivers (61 percent) reported feeling stress "sometimes to always" in trying to meet caregiving responsibilities and other work and/or family obligations.  The report also outlines recommendations that promote person-centered care management techniques. 

Care in Action

Robbie Bell, Personal Pathways Coordinator at Merrill Gardens at Albertville, a continuum of care retirement community in Albertville, Ala., has witnessed Alzheimer's disease from multiple vantage points. Having cared for both of her grandmothers and a neighbor who had Alzheimer's disease, and now working with residents at the facility, she understands first-hand that valuing and supporting the needs and wishes of persons with dementia and their families are integral to providing optimal dementia care.

That understanding sparked an innovative idea. After receiving requests from residents' families across the country to update them about their loved ones' well-being and activities, Bell recognized an opportunity to use technology to bridge communication gaps, as well as maximize staff-resident interactions and help residents adjust to their new home.


With assistance from the company's marketing team, Bell designed a password-protected Website, exclusively for the use of staff and families of individuals with dementia in Merrill Gardens' dementia care unit. She uploads photos of residents participating in a multitude of activities and events each day and shares stories about happenings in the care setting. In turn, families can also share photos and stories, providing a unique opportunity for staff to learn more about residents' families, life histories, interests and preferences. Each Thursday, Bell projects some of the images onto a big-screen TV for residents to enjoy, discuss and reminisce-an activity that she has dubbed "Throwback Thursday."


"The site has proven to be an effective and very efficient way to stay connected with families, enabling them to feel included in, and connected to, our community, and has also assuaged anxieties and fears about whether their loved ones are being active, engaged, and having fun," she said.  



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
Active Seniors The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recently released "Brain Health As You Age," a toolkit that provides information and educational materials to help facilitate successful aging.

The kit was compiled by the ACL, The National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).


The resource fulfills a strategy recommendation from the federal government's "National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease," which calls for increased public education about Alzheimer's disease. 

Learn about how older adults and caregivers can reduce risks that may be related to brain health by viewing the PowerPoint included in the toolkitand then 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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