Online Program

Dementia Training Standards across Settings and Professions: A 50 State Analysis

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Molly French, MS, Public Policy Division, Alzheimer's Association, Washington, DC
Gwen Orlowski, JD, National Senior Citizens Law Center, Washington, DC
Georgia Burke, JD, National Senior Citizen Law Center, Washington, DC
Background: Quality-of-care fundamentally impacts care recipients’ quality-of-life and well-being. Professionals in long-term care and community-based settings may receive inadequate training on how to effectively serve people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Objectives: To document states' legal requirements for professionals caring for people with dementias. To identify, through analysis and comparison, best practices and policy recommendations. To describe 2015 legislative activities with regards to best practices.

Methods: This two-part study analyzed laws regarding dementia training standards in 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico.  A) Data collection entailed keyword searches of Lexis and Westlaw databases through 12/2014. Researchers tabulated data in 25 categories and three groupings: settings, professional licensure, first responders. State-to-state comparisons were based on the quantitative results of the research. Qualitative analyses identified best practices and policy implications. B) Analysts tracked dementia workforce training legislation through 9/2015. Qualitative methods will analyze data to describe recent legislative activity in terms of similarities and differences with best practices.

Results: Part A preliminary results indicate 22 of 52 states have laws prescribing training requirements for direct-care staff in nursing homes; only one of the 22 requires competency examinations.  Forty-five states require dementia care training for assisted-living facility staff;  31 of the 45 have heightened protections for Alzheimer's care unit residents. Nine states require dementia training for law enforcement. Policy recommendations, aligned with best practices, address use of detailed, regulatory curricula, competency-based assessments, and continuing education. Part B will be conducted after legislatures conclude their 2015 sessions.

Learning Areas:

Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify three types of state legal requirements for professionals serving people with Alzheimer's and dementias. List two best practices for state-level legal requirements for dementia workforce training.

Keyword(s): Workforce, Dementia

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Molly French is the Director of Public Health for the Alzheimer’s Association, managing the organization’s public health policy work. In this role, she works closely with state and national public health organizations. Previously, she consulted with national nonprofits on population health issues, directed policy research for Partnership for Prevention, and advanced health policy in California. Molly earned her MS from The University of Texas at Austin and a BA from Drake University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.