Optimizing Person-Centered Transitions In The Dementia Journey: A Comparison Of National Dementia Strategies

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Publication

Richard H. Fortinsky and Murna Downs (2014)

doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1304 HEALTH AFFAIRS 33, NO. 4 (2014): 566–573

ABSTRACT The journey for people with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia involves the need for increasing levels of support, with transitions across care settings. Although transitional care has received increasing attention in the health care arena, no widely accepted transitions typology exists for the dementia journey. At the same time, national dementia strategies are proliferating. We developed a typology containing six transitions that cover the dementia journey from symptom recognition to end-of-life care. We then critically evaluated whether and how the national dementia strategies of Australia, England, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, and the United States addressed each transition. Adopting a person-centered perspective, we found that most or all of the national strategies adequately address earlier transitions in the journey, but fewer strategies address the later transitions. We recommend that next-generation national dementia strategies focus on later transitions, specify how care coordination and workforce training should make transitions more person centered, and use person-centered outcomes in evaluating the success of the strategies’ implementation and dissemination.

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