Monday, September 15, 2014

15 Ways To Use NCAL’s Consumer Fact Sheet On Antipsychotics
Last year, AHCA/NCAL released a consumer fact sheet on the use of antipsychotic medications for residents living with dementia in skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities. The fact sheet supports the efforts of the AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative in which assisted living providers have a goal to safely reduce the off-label use of these medications by 15 percent by March 2015. The resource, the first to be offered in both English and Spanish, was created to help providers effectively communicate and engage family members on the issue.
“Sometimes, the most difficult thing is convincing a family member that their loved one no longer needs this medication,” said David Gifford, MD, AHCA/NCAL senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs and a geriatrician, when the fact sheet was released. “With a better understanding of the disease process and personal knowledge of their loved one, consumers will help us provide person-centered care without turning to antipsychotic medications.”
The consumer fact sheet provides family members and others involved in a resident’s care background on the off-label use of such medications. The fact sheet also includes frequently asked questions regarding individuals living with dementia. Family members are offered suggestions on how they can partner with providers to get the best possible care for their loved one.
Assisted living providers can use the fact sheet in more ways than one. The NCAL Customer Relations Committee has generated a list of ideas for providers to maximize the opportunities to share the information with a larger audience.
15 Ways to Use the Antipsychotic Consumer Fact Sheet
  1. Hold a one-on-one with affected residents and families.
  2. Share it at your resident council meeting as an education tool.
  3. Make it an issue for family night education.
  4. Share it with your health care partners who may influence your residents’ usage: discharge planners, social workers, case managers, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, home care agencies, and hospice agencies.
  5. Use it at a staff training or in-service; especially share with medication passers or on a case-by-case basis for staff who care for residents using these medications.
  6. Include it in the new employee orientation package.
  7. Include it in your community newsletter.
  8. Use it to write a letter to the editor to your local newspaper about the issue and highlight your community’s efforts to address the issue.
  9. Include a link to it on your community’s website.
  10. Insert it into your community’s marketing packet.
  11. Place it in your community’s rack card holders with other resources.
  12. Have it available when you go to marketing fairs.
  13. Present it to other dementia groups or associations at appropriate settings: memory support groups, senior centers, senior fairs, or other community events.
  14. Share it with your local Area Agency on Aging/senior referral organization.
  15. Offer it to your community’s religious centers for their senior groups.
 Share how your community has used the fact sheet by emailing

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