Dementia Care Digest


   Official newsletter of 

Dementia Care Professionals of America, a branch of the

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

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January 2015/Issue 6
A Message from AFA's National Care Standards Manager

The New Year is a great time to set new goals to better our lives and the lives of others. As dementia care partners, we work to support individuals with dementia in living healthy and meaningful lives. All too often, however, in this pursuit, we fail to prioritize our own health and wellness. 


This New Year, resolve to care for yourself the way you care for others. Do things that give you meaning and satisfy your mind, body, and spirit. Seek opportunities to continue your professional growth. Be kind to yourself. Taking time for self-care will not only help you to live well, but will also enable you to be more present and effective in your work. 


As always, Dementia Care Professionals of America is here to support you and help you achieve your professional goals. Please be in touch to let us know how we can best assist you this coming year.


In health,

Kristen Cribbs, MPH, QDCS
National Care Standards Manager
On the Job: Tips for Providing Optimal Care
National Public Radio Series Explores Inappropriate Anti-psychotic Drug Use In Nursing Homes


A recent three-part series on National Public Radio (NPR) presented a dismal picture of how anti-psychotic drugs are often inappropriately prescribed to individuals living in nursing homes in the United States, many of whom have dementia. Despite efforts by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reduce anti-psychotic drug use in nursing homes, NPR reporters Ina Jaffe and Robert Benincasa point out that many individuals are still being prescribed these drugs unnecessarily. Listen to the series (parts one, two, three). 

Writing in a book

Article Discusses the Power of Poetry in Dementia Care

Many studies have demonstrated numerous positive outcomes that the use of art therapy in dementia care can have on the health and well being of persons with dementia, including enhancing brain function and triggering memories and emotions, as well as stimulating conversation and social interaction. Motivated by personal experience, Texas-based journalist, Molly Middleton Meyer, has sought to "validate the creative capacities" of individuals with dementia through facilitating poetry workshops across the country. Read more about the power of poetry in dementia care.

In the News
  • A recent "New York Times" piece discusses a new direction in genetics research in which scientists are studying mutations that prevent diseases, rather than cause them--such as early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
  • The Commonwealth Fund recently published a report in the journal, "Health Affairs," which details health care in industrialized countries for individuals over the age of 65. Read the full article here or key findings here.
  • An article in "The Guardian" describes an innovative, grassroots approach to dementia care in Japan that centers around civic engagement.
Continuing Education
Pro and Client Hands

Hospice is a person-centered approach to end-of-life care that focuses on comfort, pain management, and emotional
and spiritual support that is tailored to a person's unique needs and wishes. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America's 2014 annual report provides an overview of trends in the growth, quality and delivery of hospice care across the country.

Learn more by viewing the report 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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