Nov 9, 2011

"Awakenings" is this the Future of Alzheimer's Care?

"We try to look at the behaviors as more of a way of them trying to tell us what they need." -- Stephanie Johnson

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

"Awakenings" is a specially funded program designed to bring innovation and understanding to Alzheimer's patients and their care.

If you watch the video you might get "ideas" on to how to solve a specific problem you are now facing. For example, not eating, or not smiling.

I strongly suggest that you consider sharing the link to this article with family, friends, and in support groups. The video is well worth watching. Follow the link for the text version of this story.

Read the article about this Program

If you don't see the video go here.

What is Awakenings?

Awakenings is an innovative, three-year, Ecumen initiative that’s trying a new way to treat older adults who have Alzheimer’s and dementia. It emphasizes human relationships, non-drug therapies, and teamwork rather than commonly prescribed antipsychotic or other psychotropic drugs, which can actually reduce quality of life.

Concerned about the number of new admissions who were being treated with antipsychotic drugs for dementia, Ecumen staff decided to try a new model of “relationship” care in one of its nursing homes. In 2009, we piloted what has become known as “Awakenings” in Ecumen Scenic Shores Nursing Home (previously called Sunrise Home) in Two Harbors, Minnesota.

Within six months, the home eliminated the use of antipsychotic drugs among all residents, and decreased their use of antidepressants by 30-50%. As a result, many residents were literally “awakened” to a fuller life. What was once a quiet nursing home is now a much more bustling, vital community.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room