February 14-21, 2020 Is Alzheimer’s And Dementia Staff Education Week!
Every year, the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP) dedicates a week in February to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia while educating staff on the best practices while caring for patients with these conditions.
Throughout the week, healthcare professionals and staff are encouraged to learn new approaches and communication techniques in order to better serve patients with dementia.
For the last 15 years, NCCDP has strived to bring international awareness to the importance of dementia education through Alzheimer’s and Dementia Staff Education Week. One of the main goals of the week is to “make face to face interactive classroom opportunities available for all healthcare professionals and line staff”. Organizers of the yearly event hope to go above and beyond the minimum state requirements regarding dementia and Alzheimer’s education.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is the general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities that interfere with a person’s quality of life.
Dementia covers a wide range of specific conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and more. These disorders, caused by abnormal brain changes, trigger a decline in cognitive abilities and often severely impact daily life.
Although dementia is seen more frequently in older adults, it is not considered a normal part of aging. Some identified causes of dementia may include progressive brain cell death, head injury, stroke, brain tumor, and others.
According to recent studies, there are an estimated 47.5 million people suffering from dementia worldwide and a new case is diagnosed every 4 seconds.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a TYPE of dementia that may cause problems primarily with memory, thinking, and behavior. As the most common cause of dementia, it accounts for 60-80% of all dementia cases.
Alzheimer’s is qualified as a progressive disease, meaning it worsens over time. In the early stages of the disease, the person’s memory, thinking, and behavior are only mildly impaired. When the disease progresses to later stages, conversation, memory, and other daily functions are almost completely nonfunctional.
Although the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older, there are over 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 who have been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
In the United States, Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death. On average, a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s lives four to eight years and up to 20 years.
What are the Signs of Dementia and Alzheimer’s?
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, some signs and symptoms that could indicate the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s may include:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
As part of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Staff Education Week, NCCDP is offering a free toolkit which includes services that are designed to be taught in a half an hour to front line staff who deal with patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Other organizations are offering complimentary training for hospital staff and medical professionals as well. Some of the dementia care topics covered by The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) include:
- Innovations in staff training
- Person-centered practices
- Multi-sensory programs
- Dementia & sexuality
- Medication reduction
- Palliative care & more
Contact the Cleveland Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers at Tittle & Perlmutter
One of the goals of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Staff Education Week is to help coordinate and promote staff training when caring for patients with these conditions. Unfortunately, not all nursing home and assisted living facility staff take these tips to heart.
If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia that has been abused in a nursing home, do not let the injustice go unnoticed. Just because your loved one is suffering from dementia and memory loss doesn’t mean that they should be victims of mistreatment or neglect in the final years of their lives.
All nursing home and assisted living residents deserve high-quality care from highly trained professionals.
If a loved one or family member has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect and suffers from Alzheimer’s or a form of dementia and you’re looking for legal advice on what steps to take next, contact Tittle & Perlmuter.