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A new resource offers an innovative approach to advancing the field of dementia care. Recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the Dementia Ideal Care Map provides a robust framework that promises to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their care partners through collaboration, community integration and technology.

Researchers say this multi-prong approach can pave the way for more effective and empathic dementia care.

“This ecosystem map of best practices is significant because it is designed for leaders and lay people to address the multifaceted needs of people living with dementia – including policy, funding, health systems, research, education, and technology infrastructure – to support dementia risk reduction, new care pathways for timely disease detection, community support, and medical care,” said lead author Wen Dombrowski, founder of CATALAIZE, a consultancy focused on innovation and emerging technologies and a geriatrics physician, age-tech expert and USC Leonard Davis School adjunct assistant clinical professor of gerontology.

The Dementia Ideal Care Map is a versatile resource that encompasses over 200 dementia best practices and nearly 100 technology solutions, providing a detailed overview of the dementia ecosystem. It represents the first such comprehensive visual guide developed for a wide array of individuals and organizations, including gerontologists, health systems, government policymakers, businesses, communities, and technology developers.

“This care map stands out in that it encompasses the whole patient journey, including what happens before and after diagnoses,” said Dombrowski. “Incorporating technology allows us to extend the impact of what people living with dementia, care partners, and various players in the ecosystem can do.”

Technological Highlights

  • Data-Driven Insights:

Advanced data analytics can play a crucial role in the dementia ecosystem. By collecting and analyzing data, leaders in government, health systems, and researchers can gain deeper insights into the needs of those they serve, disease progression, and treatment efficacy for more informed decision-making.

  • Remote Monitoring and Telehealth:

The integration of digital assessments, remote monitoring tools, and telehealth services such as Virtual Brain Health Clinics can allow continuous health monitoring, early detection of potential issues, timely interventions, and a reduction in hospital visits.

  • Personalized Care:

The researchers emphasize the importance of honoring each person’s preferences and care plans tailored to each individual’s unique needs. Through leveraging technology healthcare professionals, care workers, and families can be recommended and reminded of specific best practices,track patient progress, and adjust care strategies in real time.

  • Community and Caregiver Support:

The Ideal Care Map also highlights the importance of community resources and support networks. Technology can further foster a collaborative approach to care by facilitating the connection between care partners, people living with dementia, and community services.

  • Educational Resources:

Educational tools and resources are made accessible through digital platforms, with the goal of empowering patients and their families with knowledge and skills to manage dementia more effectively.

Dementia Ideal Care Map

The Dementia Ideal Care Map provides a robust framework of best practices designed to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their care partners.

Promoting Collaboration, Understanding and Impact

“Often there are overwhelming feelings and uncertainties when someone is told your loved one or you have dementia,” said senior author Jennie Chin Hansen, the immediate past CEO of the American Geriatrics Society and a past president of AARP. “This journey map provides an overview of steps that can be taken to travel on this journey with greater understanding.”

By illustrating the interconnectedness of different disciplines the team encourages a holistic approach to care and infrastructure development.

“This graphic will help clinicians, care partners, innovators, evaluators and community providers see how they can make an impact in quality dementia care,” said co-author Adrienne Mimms, Chief Medical Officer of Rainmakers Strategic Solutions, a geriatrician and health policy leader.

Funding for the care map was provided in part by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., from which Dombrowski and several co-authors have received honoraria and/or consulting fees for their subject matter expertise.

Dombrowski W, Mims A, Kremer I, Cano Desandes P, Rodrigo-Herrero S, Epps F, Snow T, Gutierrez M, Nasta A, Epperly MB, Manaloto K, Hansen JC (2024) Dementia Ideal Care: Ecosystem Map of Best Practices and Care Pathways Enhanced by Technology and Community. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 100(1) 87–117.

DOI 10.3233/JAD-231491

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