Harmony Healthcare Blog

OT Skilled Treatment Techniques for Dementia (Part II)

Posted by Kris Mastrangelo on Wed, Sep 12, 2018

C.A.R.E.

Compliance • Audits/Analysis • Reimbursement/Regulatory • Education/Efficiency


To reiterate from Part I of the blog, Occupational Therapy skilled interventions require the expertise, knowledge and judgment of an Occupational Therapist. Often, clinicians underestimate the value of their input/treatment and perceive the interaction as unskilled because the treatment or action is so obvious to the therapist. Yet, the Occupational Therapist may not realize the task, modification or recommendation is a game changer to the functionality of the patient.

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Topics: Dementia

ICYMI: Skilled Care (Occupational Therapy) for Dementia: Part I

Posted by Kris Mastrangelo on Tue, Sep 04, 2018

C.A.R.E.

Compliance • Audits/Analysis • Reimbursement/Regulatory • Education/Efficiency


Definition of Dementia:  A usually progressive condition (such as Alzheimer's disease) marked by the development of multiple cognitive deficits (such as memory impairment, aphasia, and the inability to plan and initiate complex behavior). 

  • Dementia is diagnosed only when both memory and another cognitive function are each affected severely enough to interfere with a person's ability to carry out routine daily activities. 
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Topics: Dementia

Skilled Care (Occupational Therapy) for Dementia: Part I

Posted by Kris Mastrangelo on Tue, Jul 24, 2018

C.A.R.E.

Compliance • Audits/Analysis • Reimbursement/Regulatory • Education/Efficiency


Definition of Dementia:  A usually progressive condition (such as Alzheimer's disease) marked by the development of multiple cognitive deficits (such as memory impairment, aphasia, and the inability to plan and initiate complex behavior). 

  • Dementia is diagnosed only when both memory and another cognitive function are each affected severely enough to interfere with a person's ability to carry out routine daily activities. 
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Topics: Dementia

Quality Measure for Behaviors Affecting Others

Posted by Kathy Monahan on Thu, Mar 23, 2017

C.A.R.E.

Compliance • Audits/Analysis • Reimbursement/Regulatory • Education/Efficiency


With the nationwide focus on antipsychotic drug reduction, providers are seeing an increase in behaviors, especially with the dementia population.  Thus, this Quality Measure is being impacted in facilities with a large dementia population.  Many facilities are updating behavior management techniques and procedures to meet the increasing number of residents with dementia and behaviors.  Surveyors are taking notice and are looking to see how facilities are managing challenging behaviors. 

All the patients that triggered for this Quality Measure in the facility have a dementia diagnosis. 

So, let’s take a deeper dive into the Measure Specification for this Quality Measure.  This measure reports the percentage of long-stay residents who have behavior symptoms that affect others during the target period.

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Topics: Quality Measures, Dementia

5 Tips On Dementia for Survey In Massachusetts (and maybe in your state!)

Posted by Elisa Bovee on Thu, May 19, 2016

Massachusetts State surveyors are scrutinizing the environment and training expectations for facilities who have a registered “Specialty Dementia Unit” in their facility.   The focus on the physical environment during survey proves to be a deep dive into very specific parameters. In reading the guidelines, they may appear to be general in nature, but when surveyors are on site the attention to environmental standards is very specific. All Providers, regardless of the presence of a Specialty Unit in the facility, should read the Licensing for Long Term Care Facilities, Section 150.029, Physical Environment for Dementia Care Units, to prepare for Regulatory survey with this special focus population in mind. Dementia Focused Survey is not far down the road as a standard of practice, so these guidelines will allow facilities to expand the measures taken to promote safety and functional performance at the highest practical level.

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Topics: Dementia, Dementia Survey

Keep Dementia Training Front of Mind

Posted by Kris Mastrangelo on Fri, Jun 13, 2014

Keep Dementia Training Front of Mind:  Harmony often discusses clinical review of individual patient interventions with the rehabilitation and nursing team regarding identification, assessment, and management of patients with advanced dementia.  While treatment of low functioning, demented, or long term patients is challenging, Harmony believes that with increased training regarding targeted strategies, this particular group of residents will benefit greatly from skilled interventions. There are three levels of Rehabilitation that meets skilled criteria in the SNF setting.

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Topics: SNF, Therapy, Nursing, Dementia, Skilled Nursing, Skilled Therapy, Rehabilitation, Alzheimer's, patient intervention

Therapeutic Approaches for Patients with Dementia

Posted by Peter Mastrangelo on Thu, Jul 05, 2012

Sixty to seventy percent of nursing home residents have some level of dementia, so how can we best serve those patients? First thing you want to do is look at your evaluation process. Using a standardized tool is going to help you determine where in the progression of dementia the patient lies. The next thing you want to do is look at the different types of dementia. Alzheimer’s dementia makes up 65% of all Dementias. Vascular Dementia comes in second and Lewy Body Dementia makes up 10 – 15 %. Understanding these different types of Dementias is going to help you make a very patient specific plan of care. For more information on tailoring the plan of care around patient's needs talk to your HHI consultant, for a great resource!

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Topics: Dementia, Care Planning

Mild Dementia Adaptations in SNFs

Posted by Kris Mastrangelo on Thu, Mar 22, 2012

Treating patients with dementia is commonplace in the skilled nursing home setting.  Levels vary wildly and it is one of the most important factors in discharge planning.  Thankfully, there are many environmental adaptations and tools that can help the patient with mild dementia to be successful independently.  Something as simple as a checklist on a bathroom mirror to the more technologically advanced computerized pill dispenser complete with bells and whistles that will alert the patient when it’s time for their medications (I think some come with a mini laser light show).  Of course, the more complex your gadget the pricier it becomes and we have all heard from our patients the limitations of their income.   How have your helped your patients with mild dementia be successful at home?  Are there tricks and tools of the trade you have used routinely?  How do you support the patients’ needs given their budgetary restrictions?
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Topics: Dementia

Therapy Plan of Care for Dementia - Medicare Minute

Posted by Kris Mastrangelo on Wed, Feb 29, 2012

Therapy Plan of Care for Dementia - Medicare Minute

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Topics: Dementia

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