The University of California at Los Angeles Alzheimer's and Dementia Care program for comprehensive, coordinated, patient-centered care: preliminary data.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.12562
Dementia is a chronic disease that requires medical and social services to provide high-quality care and prevent complications. As a result of time constraints in practice, lack of systems-based approaches, and poor integration of community-based organizations (CBOs), the quality of care for dementia is poorer than that for other diseases that affect older persons. The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Alzheimer's and Dementia Care (UCLA ADC) program partners with CBOs to provide comprehensive, coordinated, patient-centered care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. The goals of the program are to maximize function, independence, and dignity; minimize caregiver strain and burnout; and reduce unnecessary costs. The UCLA ADC program consists of five core components: recruitment and a dementia registry, structured needs assessments of individuals in the registry and their caregivers, creation and implementation of individualized dementia care plans based on needs assessments and input from the primary care physicians, monitoring and revising care plans as needed, and around-the-clock access for assistance and advice. The program uses a comanagement model with a nurse practitioner Dementia Care Manager working with primary care physicians and CBOs. Based on the first 150 individuals served, the most common recommendations in the initial care plans were referrals to support groups (73%) and Alzheimer's Association Safe Return (73%), caregiver training (45%), and medication adjustment (41%). The program will be evaluated on its ability to achieve the triple aim of better care for individuals, better health for populations, and lower costs.