2017 AHC/NCAL Annual Convention & Expo

What a Palliative Approach to Dementia Care Can Do for Your Organization

Monday, October 16
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: Mandalay Bay Ballroom C
CE: Nurses: 1.0 | NAB: 1.0

A palliative approach to the care of people with dementia has been shown to significantly improve their quality of life; reduce the use of antipsychotics; reduce preventable hospitalizations and ER visits; improve quality measures improve staff turnover and overall staff commitment; and improve consumer engagement as well as relations with hospitals and other community providers. This approach is completely consistent with CMS priorities for dementia care overall, as well as with its new dementia survey process, and as such has implications for regulatory outcomes and the Five-Star rating system.

This session will focus on identifying well-researched effective palliative practices and processes, and proven strategies for their implementation. One essential component to successful implementation is the incorporation of data collection and analysis specific to the needs of people with dementia (including MDS-specific data points). Many of these data items are applicable to any setting, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home-based care. These will be shared and discussed in the session.

The presenters will refer to case examples, drawing from their considerable experience in implementing this approach. Tena Alonzo is the director of Comfort Matters, in Phoenix, and has educated and coached dozens of organizations across the country. Ann Wyatt has been instrumental in implementing the Comfort Matters approach in three New York City nursing homes, in her role as the manager for palliative and residential care at CaringKind (which sponsored the effort), an organization that provides services and support to people with dementia and their caregivers in New York City.

Learning Objectives:

Tena Alonzo

Director, Comfort Matters
The Beatitudes Campus, Phoenix, Arizona

Thirty years experience in gero-psychology and dementia care, including more than 20 in residential settings. Currently Director of Comfort Matters, a project of The Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix, Arizona.


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Ann Wyatt

Manager, Residential and palliative Care
CaringKind, formerly, NYC Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association

Ann Wyatt, MSW is currently the Manager for Palliative and Residential Care at Caringkind (formerly the Alzheimer’s Association, NYC Chapter), where for the past seven years she has been working to promote innovative, comprehensive palliative care programs for people with advanced dementia living in residential care settings. For the last 20+ years she has been involved as a consultant in a variety of LTC person-centered care efforts, including the Cobble Hill-Isabella Collaboration Project, where she authorized ""Getting Better All the Time," a performance improvement manual for nursing home staff.

Earlier, she helped to develop Independence Care system (ICS), a managed long term care plan for younger people with disabilities. and prior to that was Associate Director of the Office of Long Term Care, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (where she helped to oversee OBRA implementation for HHC’s nearly 3,000 skilled nursing beds). Prior to that, as Planning Director for the Village Nursing Home AIDS Project, she helped develop the first AIDS adult day health program in the country. She was also formerly a licensed nursing home administrator.

She was a founding Board member of the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, and of the Village Nursing Home, and is currently a founding Board member of Ibasho (an organization which works internationally to help create socially integrated, sustainable aging communities), of Music and Memory, Inc. (the iPod project), and of Sprat Artistic Ensemble. She is a Board member of Coalition for the Institutionalized Aged and Disabled (CIAD) and of Isabella Geriatric Center.

Ms. Wyatt has been on the Adjunct Faculty in the Milano Graduate School of the New School, and has been a Field Supervisor for graduate social work students from Columbia, Wurzweiler, and Hunter Schools of Social Work, and of the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, Department of Social Welfare.

Her publications include three book chapters (in AIDS and Long Term Care, HIV/AIDS and the Older Adult, and Managing the Long-Term Care Facility), and articles in Quality Review Bulletin; Long-Term Living; American Rehabilitation; Health and Social Work; and, Pride Institute Journal.


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What a Palliative Approach to Dementia Care Can Do for Your Organization


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