The Alzheimer’s Association has released twenty recommendations for best practices in diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). The recommendations were reported at the Chicago Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
Crucial components of the recommendations include a warning against dismissing concerns as “normal aging,” suggesting instead that all concerns about mental, behavioral, and functional changes be evaluated. Another significant recommendation is to have the patient’s caregiver present while taking a medical history. Often, the patient may not notice all of the changes that are occurring, particularly cognitive changes, but their caregiver will.
According to the workgroup that developed the guidelines, using these practices will allow earlier and more accurate diagnoses of ADRD. This will offer three major advantages:
- It will allow the patient to participate more fully in decisions regarding their treatment, care, and legal/financial planning
- It will make intervention possible earlier than before, which can lead to better outcomes
- It will increase the opportunities to participate in Alzheimer’s research studies, which often hold the most promising treatments
The guidelines also emphasize the importance of open communication with the patient and their family, which will lead to better care as the disease progresses.
The result, according to Dr. Alireza Atri, the lead author of the guidelines? Empowerment of patients, family members, and doctors, as well as “a compassionate way to help patients and families live the best lives possible.”
There’s not much more we could ask for, when dealing with Alzheimer’s or any other disease.
Although the guidelines are new, Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, has always held compassion and communication as two of the cornerstones of our patient-centered care. This is true for our Alzheimer’s Unit, as well as our rehab and skilled nursing care units.
At Hamilton Grove, we are experts in handling all levels of cognitive impairment, from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
We have created a unique environment and care program specifically designed to address the needs of this population. Our Alzheimer’s Unit is situated in a separate, secure wing to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents. It offers a structured daily routine, mind-stimulating activities, excellent social interaction, with optimal patient independence in a calm and soothing atmosphere.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.
See the complete Alzheimer’s Association Best Clinical Practice Guidelines here.