Editor’s note: the survey results and outcomes measured in this article were gathered independently by Therapy Management Corporation (TMC), who continues to track the performance of staff and outcomes in quality measures.
Geriatric care staff have made clear that they need more on-site training to better facilitate memory care that supports an individual’s best abilities to thrive. Therapy Management Corporation (TMC) heeded their call and committed to training staff across their entire organization in the spring of 2017. A year later, more than 650 care partners within the TMC family have received Dementia Capable Care training—culminating in TMC’s recognition as a Dementia Capable Society Leader.

Care partners feel immediately empowered in their roles following Dementia Capable Care training.

TMC surveyed participants in an initial training at 10 of their sites, and gathered the following feedback about the Dementia Capable Care training experience:
• 100% of team members agreed with these statements:
  • “I have made changes in the way I treat my residents with dementia based on the information I learned in Dementia Capable Care.”
  • “I am better able to identify patients who could benefit from therapy based on this training.”
  • “My residents have benefited from this training.”
• 94% agree that the training has benefitted their team.
• 94% report that communication with nursing regarding the needs of residents with dementia has improved because of this training.
• 81% feel more confident in creating plans of care for their residents because of the training.
• 69% of team members feel they are better able to write appropriate goals for residents with dementia.
They also shared comments like these:
“The information provided in this training is also helping us to provide education to our nursing staff on being able to provide better care for our residents with Dementia.”
“I learned so many great communication strategies that I use each day to better treat my patients.”
“The in-service we provided to our facility staff was well received & very helpful to our staff in our dementia care unit.”

Residents with dementia measurably benefit from the training their care partners receive.

TMC tracked long-stay quality measures (QM’s) and internal metrics to evaluate the benefits to residents when care partners receive Dementia Capable Care training. They evaluated these QM’s:
  • Percentage of long-stay residents whose need for help with daily activities has increased.
  • Percentage of long-stay residents who lose too much weight.
  • Percentage of long-stay residents who got an antianxiety or hypnotic medication.
  • Percentage of long-stay residents who got an antipsychotic medication.
Results were gathered from the first 89 sites that received training—in at least 13 different states—and measurable improvements were tracked in several areas. They found:
  • 97% of sites showed improvement in at least 1 QM.
  • 79% showed improvement in at least 2 QMs.
  • 30% showed improvement in at least 3 QMs.
  • 12 sites showed improvement in all 4 QMS assessed.
  • Overall improvement averaging 4% across all 4 of QMs assessed.

Organizational performance, including effectively identifying and delivering therapy to residents, also improved after training.

They also found that receiving training helped them identify more residents who could benefit from therapy services. Following Dementia Capable Care training, TMC care partners saw a 15% increase in the number of patients that they identified as in need of therapy services amongst the long-term population.
They also saw their own internal metrics improve.  For 92 sites included in the six-month data analysis, TMC found their internal metrics to be 13% higher than the company average—a significant improvement.
In their summation, TMC stated, “We believe that Dementia Capable Care training has been a valuable resource for our team members with positive impacts on our customers, and most importantly our residents. Feedback from therapists has been overwhelmingly positive and the metrics we are tracking indicate that the program has been effective. As the only therapy contractor to receive the designation of Dementia Capable Society Leader, we believe this training helps us live out our mission of making a positive difference in the lives of everyone we serve.”
The most exciting part of this success story is that any organization can create and sustain outcomes just like these. Dementia Care Specialists uses a train-the-trainer model that helps professionals take ownership of their ongoing development as memory care partners and stay current in best practices. We’re hopeful that these outcomes inspire you to make time for practical, principles-based training that helps care partners accurately interpret behavior as communication, and respond proactively with solutions that help enhance an individual’s best abilities to thrive.