Reducing reliance on so-called “chemical restraints” in Alzheimer’s and dementia care is a corner-stone of the culture change movement and patient-centered care. The PickerReport’s latest edition of RealCareNowTV highlights an innovative new drug-free approach to Alzheimer’s and dementia care:
A recent initiative by Minnesota-based Ecumen to reduce antipsychotic drugs among a pilot project of 10 nursing home residents who live with Alzheimer’s and dementia has produced dramatic results. Over a six month period, all 10 people in the “Awakenings” project successfully stopped taking antipsychotic medication with no objective evidence of worsening behavioral distress. Half of them also quit taking anti-depressants.
RealCareNowTV recently talked to Ecumen’s Vice President of Operations, Mick Finn, about “Awakenings,” which is supported by a $3.8 million dollar grant from the State of Minnesota and is now being implemented in all 15 of Ecumen’s nursing homes. The project was recently featured in The New York Times New Old Age blog and onChangingAging.org.
In Part 1, Dr. Bill Thomas and Finn discuss restoring “personhood” to individuals living with the challenges of Alzheimer’s and dementia and the importance of providing an environment for individuals to live at their fullest potential.
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