As part of our Tools You Can Use series, we like to feature new products and resources that improve the health of older Americans. In this installment, two researchers share a free toolkit that provides evidence-based resources for staff in senior living communities promoting non-pharmacologic strategies to address behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
The toolkit, presented by Ann Kolanowski, PhD, RN, the Elouise Ross Eberly Professor and director of the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, College of Nursing, Penn State, and Kimberly Van Haitsma, Ph.D., a Clinical Health Psychologist with a specialization in geriatrics at the Polisher Research Institute, addresses a huge problem.
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, with the direct costs of their care in 2012 totaling $200 billion, including $140 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The burden of care to family and formal caregivers is equally troubling: 90 percent of people with dementia will hit, scream, become verbally abusive, or resist care at some point.