Trying Out a New Model of Caring for People with Dementia

Field of Work: Care for people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia

Problem Synopsis: In the late 1990s, despite progress in developing home and community-based services for people with Alzheimer's disease, improvements were needed in acute and primary medical care and in integrating medical care with home- and community-based care.

Synopsis of the Work: The Alzheimer's Association and the National Chronic Care Consortium partnered to develop a national model—Chronic Care Networks for Alzheimer's Disease—of integrated primary and acute health care and supportive services for people with Alzheimer's disease in a managed care environment. Eight sites participated in developing the model, and six sites (three supported by RWJF) implemented the model. Staff from the Benjamin Rose Institute evaluated the project and developed a proposal to further test the model at Veterans Administration medical centers.

Key Results

Researchers from the Benjamin Rose Institute reported the following findings from the patient and caregiver survey at all six sites in a report to RWJF:

  • The three sites supported by RWJF (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., Philadelphia, and Upstate New York) enrolled 835 people with dementia and 773 caregivers in Chronic Care Networks for Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Each site:
    • Identified and assessed people with dementia
    • Provided information, support, care consultation, and community referrals to the enrollees and their caregivers
    • Coordinated care provided to enrollees and their families by the partnering organizations within each site
  • In October 2005, the Veterans Administration approved the proposal for a controlled clinical trial of the Upstate New York intervention, Partners in Dementia Care, for veterans with dementia and their caregivers. (The study of Partners in Dementia Care concluded in 2011.)