“We Are Detectives” – Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics in LTC

In 2013, Alberta Health Services (AHS) funded a pilot project that focused on the use of antipsychotics in long-term care facilities. Starting with 11 early-adopter sites, the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics in Long-Term Care Project has now been implemented in all of the 170 long-term sites across the province. The results have been very positive for all involved – residents, families, and staff. Click here to explore the AUA Toolkit, where you can find news and resources relating to the AUA project.

Current volunteer opportunities – Alzheimer Calgary

If you live in or around Calgary and are interested in dementia, the Alzheimer Society of Calgary has a number of volunteer opportunities that may be of interest to you. These include such things as visiting a person living with dementia, educating others about dementia and Alzheimers and participating in special events. Click here for current opportunities.

Curbside Consultations – Learning From and With Each Other

curbside consultationThe following was written and submitted by the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) project team.

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Long-term care (LTC) sites often wait months for expert consultation on very challenging responsive behaviours (or send the person to hospital). Last November we experimented by throwing out an open invitation to our LTC contacts to help out with a case study from North zone. There were many insightful suggestions from more than 30 callers (and no one said, “Have you thought of adding more drugs?”) We wrote the case study and ideas into a report and shared with the sites. Curbside consultations have grown in popularity with 30 – 50 callers (some representing groups of up to 10 staff members) at noon and 2 pm on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. This is helping residents and staff get more timely help, is educating and empowering staff to try new ideas, and has the potential to take some pressure off the very stretched mental health consultants.

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Click here to learn about the AUA team and their initiatives.

Can hospitals stays lead to delirium?


It is not uncommon for people admitted to a hospital to experience confusion and anxiety. However, in some situations, this develops into delirium. This is especially true for the elderly population. What is delirium? What causes it? What can be done to decrease the likelihood of its occurrence?

In a recent article published in the Globe and Mail, these questions were addressed. If you have not had the opportunity to read, “How a disorienting hospital visit can lead to delirium,” you may wish to do so. Among other things, it will provide some insight into what can happen when someone you know is admitted to the hospital and how your presence can make a difference.

Dementia Care Conference

If you will be in the Lethbridge area on May 27th, here is an event you may be interested in attending.

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Beulah Salt Seniors Conference – Dementia Care
May 27, 2016, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
University of Lethbridge,

Student Union Ballroom A & B
Registration is $10.00 
(Deadline to register is May 13, 2016.)

The sessions include:

Searching for Closeness – Why Feelings Matter Most in Dementia Care
Presenter: Dr. David Sheard, CEO / Founder Dementia Care Matters

Interventions to Change Practice in Long Term Care Facilities
Presenter: Dr. Sienna Caspar, Assistant Professor, Therapeutic Recreation Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, U of L

Moral Distress
Presenter: Dr. Shannon Spenceley, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, U of L

Understanding the Role of the Male Caregiver
Presenter: Mr. Ryan Waldorf, MHSc (Nursing), RN; Instructor, Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, U of L

Learning How to be a Butterfly – The Butterfly Household Model of Care
Presenter: Dr. David Sheard

Click here for the Conference Registration Form.

A Historic Day in Canada?


The long-awaited and much-debated doctor-assisted-dying Bill C-14 was tabled in Parliament today. According to the bill, individuals who are “suffering intolerably” and whose death is “reasonably foreseeable” will be able to access doctor-assisted death, but “mature minors” and the mentally ill will not. In addition, advance consent for individuals with degenerative disorders, including dementia and Alzheimers, will be disallowed.

Not surprisingly, there are many people who feel that this legislation is far too restrictive and limiting. However, according to Jane Philpott, Canada’s Health Minister, “We believe this legislation is the best approach to ensure that dying patients who are suffering unbearable pain have the choice for a peaceful death and the vulnerable are protected.” What are your thoughts?

Click here to read more about what some see to be a “historic day.”

Let’s Talk About Dementia

ADDMApicIf you are going to be in Red Deer, Alberta on Thursday, February 25th, you may wish to attend a public forum on dementia entitled, “Dementia Care in the Community.”  This event will be taking place in the Cenovus Learning Commons at Red Deer College (100 College Boulevard) from 6:00-8:00 p.m. 

The evening will begin with a talk by Dr. Linda Lee, who is the director of the Memory Clinic at The Centre for Family Medicine FHT in Kitchener, Ontario.  Following Dr. Lee’s presentation, there will be time to network and view the posters that will be displayed around the room.  Click here to register for this free event.

Talking About Dementia

Are you interested in Alzheimer’s and dementia?  Do you want to know more about this disease?  If so, you may wish to attend a free presentation by Dr. David Hogan, a specialist in geriatric medicine.

Talking about Dementia
Date:  Saturday, January 30/2016
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location Delta Calgary South – Ballroom (135 Southland Drive SE)

Click here for more information and to register for the session.