Approximately 5.3 million Americans have dementia or neurocognitive disorder. In 2012 about $200 billion was spent on direct costs of caring for those with Alzheimer's or other dementias in the United States, including $140 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. These costs will continue to rise as the number of aging baby boomers with longer life expectancies increases. Almost 50 percent of older adults over the age of 85 years old have Alzheimer's Disease. Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease but there are a variety of other non-modifiable and modifiable risk factors. Recognition and management of Alzheimer's Disease is vital in improving quality of life and reducing its effect on other medical conditions. A collaborative approach to treating Alzheimer's Disease for healthcare professionals should include understanding the illness and how it impacts the older adult and caregivers. Additionally, healthcare professionals should be familiar with screening tools for neurocognitive disorders, evaluation for reversible causes, and treatment options. Utilizing this approach will assist the older adult and caregivers to understand and live with irreversible neurocognitive disorders, identify resources to support quality of life, and advance care planning.
This series of learning modules will cover topics such as: recognition and assessment of dementia; pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment approaches; and community resources to support caregivers and families.
Seema Dattani, MD
Tracey Vause-Earland, MS, OTR/L
Susanna Daniels, OTS
Christine Hsieh, MD
Susan Parks, MD
Tarae Waddell-Terry, MS
The project described was supported by Grant Number #UB4HP19061 from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Health Resources and Services Administration: Department of Health and Human Services. The project was funded 100% by the Department of Health and Human Services. The amount of federal funds for this project cycle is 42,222.
This module examines pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment approaches for dementia.
The concept of this module is to give healthcare professionals and students a general understanding of the variety of treatment approaches available to the patient with dementia.
Upon completion of this module, the participant will be able to:
- Understand the impact and limitations of pharmacologic treatments currently available for dementia.
- Review the pharmacologic medications for treatment of dementia and behaviors related to dementia.
- Review challenging behaviors related to dementia and the impact on quality of life.
- Recognize conceptual frameworks as a method of understanding behaviors.
- Describe effective non-pharmacological interventions/strategies to manage challenging behaviors.
Estimated time for completion: 30 minutes
Since this module will take approximately 30 minutes to complete, it is designed to track your progress allowing you to complete the module in more than one sitting. The progress tracking feature allows you to return to your previous session from any computer.
Saving and Printing Responses to Questions:
Use the Save Answer button under each response text box to save your responses. Saved responses can be viewed or updated in subsequent sessions. All responses can be printed from the last screen of the module. The Print Answers button on that screen generates a PDF document that may be saved or printed.
Technical Requirements and Notes:
This learning module uses Adobe Flash media and may require you to add a browser "plug-in" in order to display properly. Most computers already have this free plug-in installed. But, if yours does not, it is very easy to download and install. Try the module first because the software is "smart" enough to detect the Flash player. If the module doesn't begin, you will be automatically prompted to download the plug-in.
The module contains links to external websites which will open in a new browser window. Your browser's back button will not return to the module, so these new windows should be closed.