AMDA Releases Free Interactive Program Aimed at Improving Care for Dementia Patients

December 16, 2013
Perry Gwen Meyers,

Columbia, MD — AMDA – Dedicated to Long Term Care Medicine (AMDA) is pleased to announce the release of a program of free, interactive courses aimed at decreasing the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications for nursing home residents and improving the overall quality of care given to persons with dementia. Two courses, “Dementia in the Long-Term Care Setting, Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribers” and “Dementia in the Long-Term Care Setting, Clinical Practice Guideline for Non-Prescribers,” were developed by AMDA with assistance and funding from an Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) grant. The program supports a more appropriate care process for nursing home residents with dementia by providing an innovative, interactive, technology-based means of disseminating evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the assessment and management of nursing home residents with a suspected diagnosis of dementia. 

A five-hour professional development experience, each course focuses on the recognition, assessment, treatment, and monitoring of dementia in the long-term care facility, and is free to both prescribers and non-prescribers, as is a certificate of completion. The only requirement is that the participant agrees to take an immediate post-course survey, a three-month post-course survey, and a six-month post-course survey. These surveys will help AMDA evaluate the impact of the course on patient care. Participants will also have the option to apply for CE, CME, and CPE. 

Principle Investigator Ladislav Volicer, MD, PhD, hopes the program will educate people about non-pharmacologic alternatives to antipsychotics. “Behavioral problems often can be prevented by an adequate program of activities and opportunities for social engagement and mental stimulation. Practitioners and interdisciplinary team members can work together to develop and implement an individualized person-centered care plan that considers each resident’s particular needs, interests, diagnoses, and comorbidities. But they need to be on the same page to do this effectively. These courses will facilitate that.”