Alzheimer's Association Quality Care Campaign and professional training initiatives: improving hands-on care for people with dementia in the U.S.A.
In the U.S.A., direct care workers and licensed practical nurses are the professionals who provide the most hands-on care to people with dementia in nursing homes and residential care facilities--yet they do not receive adequate training in dementia care. Dementia care training needs to be universal with all disciplines at all levels of care. Even though there is variability on recommended hours and content, most studies emphasize the importance of dementia care training as a distinct component of required training for any professional or paraprofessional working in long-term care. In 2005, the Alzheimer's Association launched its Quality Care Campaign to improve dementia care through state and federal advocacy; consumer education and empowerment; and staff training. This paper describes the effectiveness of Alzheimer's Association training as measured by knowledge gained and providers' intention to change their behavior immediately after attending the training.Overall, findings indicated that the participants responded positively to evidence-based training in dementia care that emphasized the importance of (i) leadership, (ii) team communication and collaboration, (iii) support and empowerment of direct care staff, (iv) awareness and practice of specific dementia care issues, (v) resident and family involvement in care, and (vi) professional self-care.
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