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Should Memory Care Training Be Required for Caregivers?

By Erin Harris | Posted on 04.25.2014 | 2 comments
Should Memory Care Training Be Required for Caregivers?
Photo: Fuse / Thinkstock
Do you think that people who have dementia can be better supported when their caregivers have special training in memory care?
A bill has been introduced in Connecticut to help people with dementia receive care that’s specific to their needs. Under Senate Bill 179, the following types of facilities would be required to ensure that staff receive annual training in Alzheimer's disease and dementia symptoms and care:
  • Nursing homes
  • Rest homes with nursing supervision
  • Home health agencies
  • Residential care homes
  • Assisted living services agencies
  • Licensed hospice care organizations
  • Alzheimer's special care units or programs

In Iowa, ADC 481-57.7 [PDF] has been introduced by the Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) to amend Residential Care Facilities, or Chapter 57 of the Iowa Administrative Code. The amendment proposes methods for strengthening Iowa’s policies on dementia care, including ensuring that all staff who work in memory care units or facilities receive training appropriate to residents’ needs. To support Iowa’s efforts to advance person-centered, abilities-based dementia care, CPI’s Dementia Care Specialists offering has provided the DIA with written comment on the amendment. 
At CPI, we support these legislative efforts because we believe that dementia care training empowers staff to maximize function, safety, and quality of life for people who have dementia. We’re pleased that Iowa and Connecticut are part of a flurry of states such as Minnesota and Florida, which have introduced similar legislation, and Massachusetts, which has passed similar legislation.

We will continue to monitor Iowa and Connecticut's efforts and post updates as they develop.

June 25, 2014 UPDATE: Connecticut's bill and Iowa's amendments have passed in their legislatures. Find out how Dementia Capable Care training can help you meet the training requirements in Connecticut and Iowa
Erin Harris
Thank you for your insightful comment! Exciting news: both pieces of legislation are progressing in their states.
6/25/2014 2:59:49 PM
K Flaster
Absolutely! Educating 'staff' meaning all providers as licensed and non-licensed nursing and therapies but, would suggest for all new hires and for staff every 6 months to ensure ongoing levels of competence.

An added thought -
Include an annual review requirement for administrative level management positions to insure the support and allocation of funds budgeted to provide the education. The importance given to a culture of competent care cannot be overemphasized especially in a person-centered care culture.

Given the future projections for dementia among baby boomers and the Department of Labor projections for nursing and home health aides the need is clearly established. The recent CMS announcement for person-centered care pushes the agenda forward. The question - does it require legislative policymaking to 'do the right' thing?
5/7/2014 3:29:17 PM