Woman with caregiver

Can’t find your car keys?  Forgot why you walked into a room? Realized too late you were supposed to meet a friend or colleague? 

Most everyone has experienced these moments of memory lapse, especially during the back-to-school season when routines are altered and schedules are full. For those experiencing dementia, these “memory lapses” are a common occurrence and can eventually impact the ability to communicate and perform routine tasks.

“Individuals experiencing symptoms of dementia have special care needs. Understanding alternative methods beyond medication to manage personality and behavior changes improves the quality of life for the patient while also reducing stress for the caregiver,” explained Lori Hintz, RN, Program Manager for the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (QIN).

Recognizing the need for additional training, the Great Plains QIN coordinated the I-90 Road Show: Dementia Training to be held in Chamberlain, Rapid City and Sioux Falls, SD. During the Road Show, over 300 healthcare professionals will receive education on utilizing dementia care best practices from the National Council of Certified Dementia Care Practitioners and will be eligible to obtain credentials as a Certified Dementia Practitioner.

Brenda Groves

Led by Brenda Groves, LPN, CADDCT, CDP, CDSGF, Great Plains QIN, the training will cover over ten topic areas; from the basics of dementia to spiritual care and end-of-life issues.

“I am passionate about person-directed care and non-pharmacologic interventions for those suffering from dementia and strive to ensure quality of life for all elders. My goal is to educate as many caregivers about the disease and provide them with the tools needed to provide compassionate care to those with dementia,” Groves declared.

According to the 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, the differences between typical age-related cognitive changes and early signs of Alzheimer’s dementia can be subtle. However, in severe stages, the disease has an effect on physical health, including movement, making individuals vulnerable to blood clots, skin infections and sepsis. Great Plains QIN engages healthcare professionals in multiple quality improvement initiatives impacting care for those experiencing dementia, including nursing facility care, infection prevention and care coordination.

Lori Hintz, RN

Lori Hintz

“Our ultimate goal is to improve quality of life for the individuals experiencing dementia symptoms, their family and loved ones, and the healthcare professionals serving them,” Hintz added.  “We recognize the value of alternative care methods for reducing unnecessary anti-psychotic medication use and are excited to hear successes from individuals who complete the dementia training.”

Join the conversation on dementia care on the Great Plains QIN Facebook page using the hashtag #ICareI90Dementia.