Mississippi Fights the Good Fight

September 10, 2014
Laura Beck, The Eden Alternative

provider shotA year ago, I posted a blog about the efforts of the State of Kentucky to help decrease antipsychotic use.  Like the State of Tennessee before them, Kentucky change agents had chosen education as a key feature of their reduction strategy.  Both states were awarded CMP dollars approved through CMS’ Region IV to offer Dementia Beyond Drugs training to direct care providers. Today, both Kentucky and Tennessee are on their way toward making a serious dent in antipsychotic use.  Tennessee, for example, actually shows an overall 15% reduction from the date of the state’s first Dementia Beyond Drugs training through the first quarter of 2014.

Starting next week, the State of Mississippi will join the fray.  On Monday, Hattiesburg will welcome geriatrician and award-winning author Dr. Al Power and kick off the first of three Dementia Beyond Drugs events in the state.  The cities of Grenada and Jackson will round out the three-stop tour, which will engage roughly 500 participants, when all is said and done.

This is a bold move on the part of Mississippi, given the latest stats on the antipsychotic use in the state. The April 2014 interim report on CMS’ National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes lists the State of Mississippi as 49th in the prevalence of antipsychotic use for long-stay residents.  Only Louisiana and Texas show higher rates of use.

A big shout out to you, Mississippi!  We applaud your belief that it can be different….

Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi… is your state next?

1 Comment. Leave new

Thank you for your kind words, support, and encouragement. Mississippi is all to often listed close to the bottom when it comes to positive indicators or issues. Unfortunately, sometimes this is justified and too often it is just an accepted inaccurate norm for our state. Mississippp’s Culture Change Organization, Grow Mississippi is dedicated to leading the fight to improve life for our Elders and those who love them.

Being in the top three states to lead the effort in reducing the utilization of antipsychotic medications is a huge accomplishment for many dedicated Mississippians. Without the leadership and vision of Dr. Al Power, The Eden Alternative, and especially CMS, this would not have been a realistic opportunity for anyone. The fight to make life worth living for our Elders is both a calling and a mission for myself and a growing coalition of very passionate people.

Our shared hope and dream is that Dementia Beyond Drugs will serve as a catalyst for change, as well as an avenue to provide additional educational opportunities for those care partners who go above and beyond everyday with very little or no recognition. The Eden Alternative teaches that the antidote to Fear is Education. It is truly empowering to realize that we are on the front line for helping to change the way our country views Aging, Dementia, and the over all quality of Life for everyone involved in Long Term Care.

Thank you for helping spread the word and standing with us as we endeavor to Fight the Good Fight on behalf of our Elders.
Mary Kim Smith, RN
Eden Educator/Eden Mentor
Brandon, Ms


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