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.            

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

AFA Spotlight

Honor and remember those affected by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias from Nov. 7-9 during AFA's National Commemorative Candle Lighting Weekend of Prayer.


Participate in AFA's National Memory Screening Day on November 18 by registering your organization to become a memory screening site.


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.

November 2014/Issue 4
A Message from AFA's National Care Standards Manager

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregiver Month, a time to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, as well as to honor and advocate for those with the disease, their loved ones, and the millions professionals providing critical dementia care nationwide. 

We hope that you will take time this month to acknowledge the good work that you do to serve persons with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and their families.  As a member of a national dementia care community, we hope that you will join AFA in raising awareness of the disease and honoring and remembering those impacted by getting involved in two of our signature events in your local community: 

  • National Commemorative Candle Lighting Weekend of Prayer, Nov. 7-9. Local organizations across the U.S. will hold inspirational, non-denominational candle lighting ceremonies in their communities.  Learn more here.
  • National Memory Screening Day, Nov. 18.  Local sites nationwide will offer free, confidential memory screening and educational information.  Learn more here.
On behalf of all of us at AFA, thank you for your commitment to providing high-quality care.  The work you do is of immeasurable value, and we are so appreciative.


In health,

Kristen Cribbs, MPH, QDCS
National Care Standards Manager
Alzheimer's Foundation of America
On the Job: Tips for Providing Optimal Care

2014 OPTIMA Award Highlights Innovation in Dementia Programming 

The recipient of the 2014 Long-Term Living OPTIMA Award, The Atrium at Drum Hillpart of the Benchmark Senior Living chain, located in Drum Hill, Mass., has developed innovative dementia programming that focuses on challenging persons with dementia to learn and interact with others on a daily basis. Reflective of the  person-centered philosophy of care provided at the facility, Joshua Freitas, director of memory care innovation and services, who has achieved AFA qualification, noted, "It's a myth that people with dementia can't learn new things."

How Video Conferencing is Altering Communication During End-of-Life


A recent commentary in Slate Magazine by medical writer, Melissa Jayne Kinsey, sheds light on the way in which video conferencing is connecting families and friends at the end of life.  While financial hardship, competing priorities, poor health, and countless other factors can prevent someone from being at the bedside of a dying loved one, video conferencing platforms, such as Skype and FaceTime, are enabling people to connect instantaneously and facilitate deeply emotional connections during the dying process.


Video: Adapting Program Services to Accommodate Sleep Patterns of Persons with Dementia 


Persons with dementia commonly experience sleep disruptions, including sundowning and difficulty sleeping through the night, which present various challenges to persons with the disease and caregivers.  A recent short film in the New York Times depicts the unique approach a New York-based care setting has taken to adapt its programming to accommodate the sleep patterns of clients with dementia.

In the News
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced two initiatives to improve the quality of post-acute care: an expansion and strengthening of the agency's widely-used Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes, and the proposal of a new rule to modernize Medicare's Home Health Agency Conditions of Participation to safeguard delivery of quality care to home health patients.

  • Findings recently published in Neurology from a longitudinal study, conducted by researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, found that women who are anxious, jealous, moody, and stressed during middle-age may be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease later in life.

  • As part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Assisted Living Conversion Program, $17 million in grants has been awarded to owners of multi-family housing developments in Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Ohio. The funding will be used to convert all or some of their apartments into assisted living or service-enriched environments for older residents to enable them to "age in place."
Continuing Education

With incidence of Alzheimer's disease on the rise, the importance of promoting a nationwide culture of person-centered care cannot be overstated.  Central to promoting person-centered care is gaining an understanding of the care goals of persons with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.  The POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) Paradigm supports this effort through emphasizing advance care planning and shared decision-making between patients, professionals, and family members in order to ensure that individuals' wishes are honored. 


Led by Ken Brummel-Smith, MD, the National POLST Office recently hosted a webinar titled "Discussing POLST with Persons with Early Alzheimer's Disease," which discussed the unique challenges professionals face in having POLST conversations with individuals who have early onset dementia.

Learn about discussing POLST with persons who have early onset dementia by viewing slides from the webinar, and 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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