Changing the dementia diagnosis dialog

Caregivers have new ways to talk about dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Association has released a Cognitive Impairment Care Planning Toolkit that offers information and best practices for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to help patients with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

“For far too long, individuals were given a diagnosis and little else. We have worked with thousands of families who have had a better experience living through dementia because they had plans in place,” said Beth Kallmyer, Alzheimer’s Association Vice President of Constituent Services, in a press release. “Proper care planning results in fewer hospitalizations, fewer emergency room visits and better management of medication—all of which improves the quality of life for both patients and caregivers, and helps manage overall care costs.”

The toolkit includes an overview, access to validated diagnostic tools such as the Mini-Cog and the Dementia Severity Rating Scale, safety assessment guide, caregiver profile checklist, end of life checklist and patient and caregiver resources. The toolkit is available at

 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) now covers cognitive and functional assessments and care planning. Medicare will pay for clinical visit to create a comprehensive care plan that allows caregivers to develop a personalized approach to managing cognitive loss and identify appropriate community support services to improve outcomes, maintain quality of life, control costs and end-of-life care planning through code G0505.

Related: Medicare could cover comprehensive Alzheimer’s care plan

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia