NASW Gives Input on Alzheimer’s Manuals

The Alzheimer’s Association has continued to rely on NASW for social work knowledge in its latest phase of Campaign for Quality Care manuals known as Dementia Care Practice Recommendations.

The fourth phase in the series, Dementia Care Practice Recommendations for Professionals Working in a Home Setting, was recently released.

These specific recommendations emphasize a person-centered, culturally sensitive care approach to meet the changing needs of each person with dementia and their family living in a home setting.

Chris Herman, senior practice associate for aging at NASW, noted the association has worked with the Alzheimer’s Association on the consensus building of previous dementia care manuals, which focus on suggestions for care providers in nursing homes and assisted living residences.

NASW member Elizabeth Gould is director of Quality Care Programs at the national office of the Alzheimer’s Association. She facilitated the consensus-building process for the latest dementia care manual. The effort called for the input of more than 20 national trade, professional and consumer advocacy organizations, she saido

“Social workers represented by NASW understand the influence of a person’s environment and available social support to live successfully at home,” she said.

Gould said social workers play a vital role in home care settings. “By better understanding the disease process and the demands on the family providing care, a social worker will be able to ask the right questions to get at the best resources and support,” she said.

The latest manual offers recommendations based on evidence-based practice suggestions including: communication and decision making; understanding behaviors; personal care; safety and personal autonomy; end-of-life care; and more.

“These recommendations are the first comprehensive tool available to assist professionals with the growing number of people with dementia living at home in the community,” Gould said. “Early identification of Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders is critically important and social workers play a major role in the process.”

For more information, visit the Alzheimer's Association.