Preparing Community Agencies for Adults Affected by Dementia

Matthew Janicki, Phil McCallion, Art Dalton, and DiAnn Baxley
State University New York at Albany, 2002

What Is Our Project All About?
We are trying to see how community agencies change their services when someone has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and how they can adapt their services to help people stay in the community. Our study was designed to do two things:
1. Conduct a national survey to get general information
2. Create a training model for group homes

We Have Already:
1. Carried out an international survey to collect information.
2. Developed a day-long training workshop on dementia care
3. Published materials on dementia care

We Are Now:
1. Conducting a “dementia specialist model” demonstration study
2. Reviewing the data from time #1
3. Collecting data from time #2 over the next few months

What Were We Supposed To Do?
We were to see what community agencies did when someone receiving services from them had Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. We designed a survey questionnaire and distributed it in the United States, Canada and Europe and asked people to complete it. We have studied the information we received and have prepared a journal article reporting what we found. The information was also the basis for our demonstration study.

What Are We Doing Now?
We are studying twenty group homes in which one or more people with dementia live. We have selected the homes and have distributed questionnaires that have been filled out. Each agency giving us information assigned one or two staff persons that were trained by us as a “dementia specialist.” We trained these staff to be trainers for other staff at the group homes. These “dementia specialists” have become resource experts in their agencies. They will help their agencies to make life better for the person affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. We are now reviewing the information received from the group homes. We have also developed a package of training materials and are conducting workshops on dementia and care management. We have developed a workshop curriculum and plan to develop a how-to manual for agencies. We have also set up information on the RRTC website.

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