The Alzheimer's Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations for Assisted Living Residences and Nursing Homes are based on the latest evidence in research and the experience of care experts. To gain experiential evidence, the Association engaged experts from its 79 chapters and representatives of 26 national associations in a consensus-building process to translate the research into specific recommendations. The phase 1 recommendations, summarized in this article, offer guidance in the fundamentals of dementia care, including behavior and communication, as well as 3 specific care areas: (1) food and fluid consumption, (2) pain management, and (3) social engagement and involvement in meaningful activities. All recommendations are based on a person-centered approach to care, which tailors care to the abilities and changing needs of each resident. The recommendations are intended to be understandable and useful to all levels of long-term care staff and offer practical advice on strategies for improving care.
Peter Reed, PhD, is Senior Director of Programs for the National Office of the Alzheimer's Association, Chicago, Illinois. In this role he leads the development and delivery of Association care and support programming for people affected by Alzheimer's disease and dementia, including people with dementia, families, and professionals. He received his training in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, where he is a Fellow of the Institute on Aging Carolina Program on Healthcare and Aging Research.
Jane Tilly, DrPH, is Director for Quality Care Advocacy for the National Office of the Alzheimer's Association, Washington, DC. She is responsible for policy analysis and advocacy related to long-term care and quality issues. Part of her work involves serving as co-director of the Association's Campaign for Quality Residential Care. Before joining the Association in 2003, Jane was a Senior Research Associate at The Urban Institute in Washington, District of Columbia. Prior to that, she managed long-term care policy research for the AARP Public Policy Institute.
Address correspondence to: Peter Reed, PhD, Alzheimer's Association, 225 N Michigan Ave, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601 (Peter.Reed@alz.org).