O3-07-04: The dementia difference: Practice changes after a workshop for staff on caring for people dying with Alzheimer's disease

  • Robinson J
  • Sudbury F
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Abstract

Background: Most people who reside in residential care facilities (traditionally called nursing homes) die 'at home' in these same facilities. Many [up to 75%] of these people have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Although we care for people through to death, the focus in residential care is of ten on 'living' and dying is not always a privileged topic. In an effort to balance this perspective and continue our quest for best practice dementia care a search for education on end-of -life care for people with dementia was conducted. The search yielded limited options, as most end-of -life education focuses on people with cancer. We therefore chose to develop an in-house workshop. This oral presentation will provide information on how at-tending this workshop has impacted the care for people with Alzheimer's disease. Methods: Voluntary participant focus groups were held in July 2008, one year after the initial launch of the education. Participants were recruited from a purposeful sample. A total of four group interviews were conducted, lead by an external evaluation consultant, with a sample (17) from a range of positions and disciplines. One open-ended question was used: "what changes have you made/observed in your practice because of - or that you would attribute to - new prespectives, new knowledge and new skills learned during The Dementia Difference workshop?". Responses were documented during the interviews and the sample data was analyzed for themes. Results: Overall, participants re-ported an increased understanding and acceptance of the dying process and death. This has effected their practice as they are more likely to dialogue with each other and with residents and family members about death and dying which in turn reduces stress and assists in advance care planning and decision making. There were seven additional specific areas that participants observed they had 'changed' that impacted their practice. Conclusions: There is a growing body of knowledge on best practice at end-of -life for people with Alzheimer's disease. Through the implementation of a 2-day workshop on caring for people dying with dementia we have been able to see this knowledge translated into practice. The author acknowledges Veterans Affairs Canada for sup-port of this project.

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Robinson, J. G., & Sudbury, F. (2009). O3-07-04: The dementia difference: Practice changes after a workshop for staff on caring for people dying with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 5(4S_Part_5), P141–P141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2009.05.478

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