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OPTIMISTIC Training Improved Dementia-Related Outcomes

June 19, 2015

OPTIMISTIC, a federally funded demonstration project focused on transforming institutional nursing home care, has created positive dementia-related outcomes in a Maine skilled nursing facility.

Monica Tegeler and Kathleen Unroe of the Indiana University (IU) Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics reported the findings during a June 16 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conference call (pdf).

Through OPTIMISTIC (which stands for “Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical quality, and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care”), staff at The Cedars, a Portland-based facility, received six weeks of dementia-focused training.

Tegeler and Unroe reported that the training participants — which included registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and “dementia care champions” — were more comfortable “managing physically non-aggressive, verbally aggressive, and verbally non-aggressive behaviors” among elders dementia after the training.

OPTIMISTIC was developed by IU with funding from CMS.

— by Matthew Ozga

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