Encouraging Comfort Care: A Guide for Families of People with Dementia Living in Care Facilities

The guide, “Encouraging Comfort Care:  A Guide for Families of People with Dementia Living in Care Facilities  is available at:


The following is taken from the website:

“The Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Illinois Chapter is pleased offer this free online resource, Encouraging Comfort Care: A Guide for Families of People with Dementia Living in Care Facilities. This 21-page booklet provides useful information to families and long-term care facilities personnel about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, particularly care issues related to the late and final stages.
For families, this guide will enable them to make informed choices about a variety of medical decisions they may face on behalf of loved ones with dementia living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other types of care facilities. It will also equip families to ask good questions aimed at obtaining the best care for their loved ones, including a handy checklist of comfort care measures to be discussed with staff members of care facilities.

For staff members of long-term care facilities, the guide will serve as an important tool for those who wish to educate families and assist them in care planning. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to disseminate this booklet in electronic and print formats.
Encouraging Comfort Care was made possible through a generous grant from the Retirement Research Foundation to the Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Illinois Chapter.”


“Qualified” vs. “Licensed” Social Worker in Long Term Care

I want to pass along a recent citation of which you may be interested.  The facility has 2 full time Social Service staff.  One has a Bachelor of Social Work, but is unlicensed.  The other has a Master in Psychology.  Here is the citation:

    “F 251 Qualifications of Social Worker greater than 120 Beds

    ….this requirement is not met a/e/b:  Based on South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 40, Section 40-63-30 a qualified social worker must be licensed to practice social work in the state…..The Administrator was referred to the South Carolina State Laws web page related to social workers must be licensed in the State of South Carolina in order to be identified as a qualified social worker.  The Administrator was also referred to the federal guidelines that indicated some State or local laws are more stringent that the Federal requirement on the same issue”

So, if your facility is greater than 120 beds, you must employ a full time LICENSED Bachelor (or Master) of Social Work.  The stipulation of requiring a year of supervision was not noted; however, it could have been included as well.

On-line Tool: Think About Your Life: Person Centered Thinking Tools

This on-line tool was created by The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices and the Inclusion Movement, and developed by cancer survivors to help individuals find empowerment or a sense of control in their experience. This website offers a number of on-line tools and worksheets that could be useful to individuals with disabilities and those who support them.


New Booklet Guides Advanced Cancer Patients Through Tough Conversations With Physicians


Medical News Today (2.6.11):
“Having advanced cancer is difficult for patients and their loved ones. But discussing the range of treatment options including palliative care with your doctor does not have to be. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has a new booklet to help patients with advanced cancer work with physicians to identify the best, individualized treatment plans.

The free booklet “Advanced Cancer Care Planning,” available on ASCO’s patient website Cancer.Net, is what patients and families need to know about their choices when facing serious illness. It is designed to help initiate candid discussions with physicians about the range, risk and benefits of treatment options including palliative care options throughout the course of cancer.

“Conversations about individualized treatment options for advanced cancer are an integral part of the cancer care continuum. One goal of an oncologist is to help patients understand the types of care available for advanced cancer. Working together to plan a preferred course of treatment, therapy and managing symptoms can enhance the quality of life for patients and their loved ones,” said George W. Sledge, Jr. MD, President of ASCO.”

Cancer.Net Editor-in-Chief Diane Blum, MSW, Chief Executive Officer of the Lymphoma Research Foundation said, “Because informed patient-doctor conversations are so important for quality cancer care, having physician-approved information will make it easier for patients to understand their options and better direct their own care.”

ASCO’s patient guide includes:

– Information on advanced cancer care treatment options;
– The role of the family and caregivers in treatment decisions;
– Ways to cope and find support for patients with advanced cancer;
– Questions to ask the doctor during the course of advanced cancer.”

Patient Centered Care With A Heart


This is a great article for skilled nursing centers and caregivers of those with Dementia.  There are some good ideas which were new to me I plan to incorporate.


New Tools Featured on AHRQ HealthCare Innovations Exchange


Featured QualityTools (October 27, 2010)

Other New QualityTools in this issue (Posted on October 27, 2010)


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Quality Indicators (QIs)


Step Up to Stop Falls Toolkit™


Prevent Harm from High-Alert Medications Tools and Resources


Time and Motion Database