Home-Based Dementia Care Reduces Nursing Home Admissions

A program helped to reduce nursing home use by those with dementia by offering supports for their caregivers, new research shows.

In the telephone-based assessment and care management program, trained nonphysician managers used evidence-based protocols to educate and offer support to caregivers. Care managers were trained social workers, nurses, and nurse practitioners.

The study included randomized data on 242 patient–caregiver dyads to the dementia-care management program and 256 dyads to usual care. All caregivers were surveyed at baseline and at 9 and 18 months.

At 18 months, satisfaction with health care was rated higher, on a 100-point scale, by caregivers in the intervention group than in the usual care group, data show. When caregivers rated confidence in their abilities, scores in the intervention group were 5.6 points higher than scores in the usual care group.

The unadjusted rate of nursing home use during the intervention period, documented in patients’ medical records, was lower in the intervention group than in the usual care group.

The results were presented at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting. Joshua Chodosh, M.D., from the UCLA Health System in Los Angeles, led the study.

Although dementia care management cost more than usual care overall, the difference was not significant, said Dr. Chodosh, according to Medscape Medical News.

Most patients had moderate-severity dementia.

“There is room for a lot of improvement in the way we provide care for patients with dementia,” Sharon Brangman, MD, from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, told Medscape Medical News. “This study provides an evidence-based care model that shouldn’t be that hard to replicate.”

This study was funded by Senior Care Action Network in Long Beach, Calif. 

Learn more about the study here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell