In an effort to fill the gap of a lack of standards of practice for dementia support that puts people first, the Dementia Action Alliance partnered with the Eden Alternative to initiate Raising the Bar: Creating a Better Society in Which to Live with Dementia. The initiative has been working to develop a series of Practice Guides for five different settings — one’s own home, adult day, home care, assisted living, and nursing homes. According to Raising the Bar, a hallmark feature of the project is the involvement and direct participation of individuals living with dementia.
St. John’s Dementia/Quality of Life Specialist Mimi DeVinney, and expert behind “Ask Mimi,” recently collaborated in the development of Raising the Bar: Practice Guide for Nursing Homes, which is the 2nd installment of Raising the Bar. “The Raising the Bar Practice Guide for Nursing Home Communities is a valuable tool that belongs in every long-term care community serving elders living with dementia,” says DeVinney.
While specifically created for nursing home professionals, there are valuable learnings for the at-home caregiver and especially for the family caregiver of a loved one with dementia that is residing in a nursing home setting. The framework for Raising the Bar is based on the widely accepted and utilized Donabedian Model.
Within the model, the framework consists of structural elements, processes, and outcomes. Of most utility to the caregiver are the best practices processes sections, with respect to application within at-home caregiving settings and for advocacy as a family member supporting a loved living in a nursing home setting.
Also helpful to the at-home caregiver is the guide’s final section “Recommended Dementia Education and Other Resources,” listing such books as What The Hell Happened to My Brain by Kate Swaffer; Dementia Beyond Disease by Dr. G Allen Power; and Spectrum of Hope by Gayatri Devi.
Dementia caregivers can learn more about Raising the Bar, as well as purchase a downloadable or print version of the guide here.