Focusing on Dementia Care, Support, and Safety

Older couple

The Minnesota Northstar GWEP provides education to support older adults. Through a partnership with Dementia Friends, we will train health professionals, students, and community members. Additional specific training programs for professionals focus on dentistry, exercise, and safety for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Projects include:

  • The Dementia Friends training program for students, direct care providers, and a variety of healthcare professionals.
  • Increase the capacity of community dental providers to care for the growing number of older adults living with dementia and support their care partners through the Dementia Friendly Dental Practices project. This includes a training package and resources for the entire dental team (DDS, DH, DT, DA and administrative staff):
    • Dementia Friendly at Work for Healthcare is an introductory 1-1.5-hour (1-1.5 CEU) training program containing basic information for clinical and non-clinical team members on how to approach dementia care, including recognition of warning signs and symptoms, environmental and communications strategies, community resources and more.
    • The Dementia Friendly Dental Practices Advanced Training Program is a 6-hour (6 CEU) in-depth curriculum for clinical dental providers covering dementia recognition and assessment, environment and safety issues, ethical and legal concerns, patient management strategies, treatment planning, and patient/care partner support.
  • Development of a replication guide and education materials to diffuse the Age-Friendly Health Systems framework into long-term care settings to maximize the quality of care for long-term care residents, including residents with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

By taking these measures, we hope to make major strides toward closing the gap when it comes to Age-Friendly care. Our ultimate goal is for all geriatric patients to receive treatment that faithfully adheres to the 4M framework: what matters in their lives, their medications, their mobility, and their mentation.

The Minnesota Northstar GWEP will positively touch many lives, including patients and their families. We have undertaken a critically important, much-needed mission—one that will call upon the passion and dedication of hundreds of providers and personnel as we take vital steps toward ensuring Age-Friendly health care across Minnesota.