Patients and caretakers of those affected by dementia can now look forward to years of living healthy and happy without visiting the hospital for emergencies. Ingeniously designed by clinicians and researchers from the IUSM (Indiana University School of Medicine) and the Regenstrief Institute, the Aging Brain Care (ABC) model was developed to treat patients affected by dementia. So far, one thousands patients are already enjoying the benefits of this model.
This innovative dementia care model encourages the use of safe and effective medication on older and more sensitive brains. This approach significantly reduces the number of emergency visits to the hospital and fosters better cognitive health in seniors. In a country where over five million seniors are affected by this degenerative disease, a revolutionary model like ABC could prove beneficial.
Benefits of the ABC model
This model for dementia care defines patients as those affected by the disease as well as family members who provide care for them. This definition is also extended to those individuals that provide memory care in senior living facilities like social workers, physicians, nurses and staff members. Caregivers at the hospital as well as advisers through telephone and email are considered as the patient’s family. This allows medical professionals to deliver effective care to boost physical and cognitive health in seniors.
One medical establishment adopting the ABC model recently saw its 1,000th patient. Acting as a research lab as well as a treatment facility, most such medical centers are dedicated to the mental well being of seniors. The center located in Indianapolis saw a drastic decrease of 45% in emergency hospital visits and 54% decrease in the number of patients staying in the hospital. Associate professor Malaz Boustani of the Regenstrief Institute revealed that dementia patients treated with the ABC model showed fewer symptoms of psychological and behavioral changes after a year of treatment.
Details of the ABC treatment
Senior patients receiving medical care through the ABC model are first given a cognitive assessment through MRI scans, neuropsychological tests, physical evaluations, neurological evaluations and medication reviews. The staff of the medical centre adopting the ABC model then works with the patient and their caregivers in developing a personalized treatment plan. This detailed plan includes prescribing safe medication, identifying potentially harmful medications, stress reduction techniques as well exercise routines to stay physically and mentally active.
Developers of the ABC model said that in the past ten years, the role of the family and caregivers at assisted living facilities has become more prominent. Regular care and interaction has also shown to improve the quality of life enjoyed by seniors, making senior homes a good choice. At our Northern California communities, seniors can enjoy a carefree retired lifestyle with regular social interaction and activities to stay mentally sharp.