When Person-Directed Care Really Works

August 16, 2013
Virgil Thomas, ChangingAging.org

A new study spreads good news about the use of antipsychotic medication. It’s going away. Tennessee ranked fifth nationally in dementia drug reduction following a two year study period.

This success is due to a strong movement towards person-directed care that Tennessee has embraced. This week the state’s efforts were highlighted by The Tennessean for their reduction of antipsychotic medication usage:

The data is collected on patients whose diagnosis indicates they are not candidates for antipsychotic drugs.

State officials attribute the reduction in Tennessee from 29.27 percent of nursing home patients in the first quarter of 2011 to 25.02 percent in the first quarter of this year to a series of training workshops for nursing home staffers conducted last year with a federal grant.

The sessions, including methods to deal with patients’ behavior without medication, were held across the state by The Eden Alternative, a New York state nonprofit.

Federal health officials have been waging a national campaign to cut antipsychotic drug use on patients with dementia because of the potential for adverse effects, including death.

The Eden Alternative did a number of Dementia Beyond Drug trainings around the Volunteer State in an effort reduce the use of antipsychotics in treating the symptoms of dementia. Tennessee had one of the worst medication rates in the country going into this study period, so we are so encouraged by the rate at which they are improving.

The Dementia Beyond Drugs training, created by Eden Mentor Dr. Al Power, focuses on better communication and empathy in the caring process. The positive effect is that the Elder is more engaged, less agitated, and don’t need medication.

While Tennessee still has a high rate of medication we are excited to see the shift towards a life worth living. Way to go Tennessee.

20 Comments. Leave new

RT @edenalt: When Person-Directed Care Really Works http://t.co/GCBAYFuFu3

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There’s a lot of skepticism that antipsychotic prescriptions for dementia can end. Tennessee is proving it can be… http://t.co/7LagMmIzwE

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This is what we should be doing for peeps with dementia. More care and fewer drugs. http://t.co/VuszcwAbIq

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RT @edenalt: When Person-Directed Care Really Works http://t.co/GCBAYFuFu3

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RT @edenalt: When Person-Directed Care Really Works http://t.co/GCBAYFuFu3

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RT @edenalt: When Person-Directed Care Really Works http://t.co/GCBAYFuFu3

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Great story coming out of TN today! When Person-Directed Care Really Works http://t.co/4vn3IbN738

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Kort Nygard, Ph.D.
August 17, 2013 2:19 pm

Point of information: Dementia Beyond Drugs was 2 of the 3 days of training; the first day also involved Bill Thomas offering an inspirational perspective on social-cultural influences and myself offering behavioral strategies for dealing with the effects of less sedation of Elders. Al Power’s training was insightful and persuasive, but not the whole training.

An additional point of interest: since Tennessee was one of the highest users of antipsychotics, it might be argued that reducing them was easiest, while a lesser user would find it difficult to reduce an already low rate. I ran a correlation between starting point and amount of reduction. The results were encouraging: no relationship between initial rate of use and amount of reduction! (r=.17). This suggests that the large reduction in medications was not due to exceptionally high initial use, but rather to the training offered by Al Power and the other two guys. 😉

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When Person-Directed Care Really Works http://t.co/i2f4jEAwJB via @edenalt #LTC #QoL http://t.co/I7IFi30BnG

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