Living Alone With Alzheimer’s Summit Follow Up Chattanooga, TN September 6, 2019

Practical Tools: Developing CareMaps

Life happens with an ecosystem. All people with dementia are situated in systems of support connected to others through networks and webs of relationships, shared experiences, and interactions. Explore a practical tool to gain a deeper understanding of their situations to appreciate what is working well and identify what isn’t.

Rajiv Mehta shared the Atlas of Caregiving concept of Care Maps.

Current Models: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Individuals With Dementia Who Live Alone

Intervention strategies to support this population are being implemented in communities across the United States. Programs to be featured include: medication reconciliation, home-delivered meals, home care services and police and fire department partnerships.

Kate Gordon shared challenges faced by people living alone and model programs that are serving them.

Needs Assessment Tools

  • People with Dementia Living Alone Risk Assessment: University of Iowa (2004) Assessment tool to assess level of risk of people with dementia who are living alone in the community. Adapted from an assessment tool developed by the University of Iowa School of Nursing.
  • Dementia Crisis to Thriving Scale: Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging
    Respondent rates the person’s level of risk on several domains such as food security, in-home care, and falls risk.
  • Live Alone Dementia Safety Net Algorithm: A tool designed to provide guidance on the provision of dementia-informed care for social service providers and staff members of community-based organizations. The target audience of the tool are professionals serving older adults. Adapted from ACT on Alzheimer’s® developed tools and resources. ACT on Alzheimer’s® tools and resources cannot be sold in their original or modified/adapted form.
    • "Leave Me Alone,” 1 Million Americans with Dementia Live Alone: YouTube presentation of a California-specific program to identify and serve people living alone with dementia using the algorithm.

Model Programs

  • Gatekeeper Program: This program relies on community members to remain alert for seniors at risk, especially those who are isolated, living alone and potentially in need of assistance to maintain their safety and independence. After participating in our one-hour training, “gatekeepers” are equipped to recognize and respond to the warning signs of a senior in trouble.
  • Senior Watch Program: The Lake County, Florida program, implemented by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, is intended to monitor older people who are living alone and have no one to check on them daily.
  • Guide to Law Enforcement on Voluntary Registration System for Vulnerable Populations: Voluntary registry systems enable law enforcement agencies to obtain critical information (prior to an actual emergency) that assists in response to calls for service involving an individual with dementia. This resource was produced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
  • Friendly Visitor Program: In New York City, Friendly Visitors have made a commitment to at least one year of involvement with the client. They visit once a week for an hour or two and make calls between visits. They also attend supportive and educational meetings every other month.
  • Warming Team for Home Delivered Meals: Southern Maine Agency on Aging has a home delivered meals program that provides more than just a meal. The Warming Crew will come to the home and heat the meal if a person needs that level of assistance. Phone Pals check in daily.
  • Cluster Care In-Home Care: Targets isolated clients living in the same building, providing services to multiple clients on the same day. Nonmedical home-care services are provided through home care aides who visit 2-3 times per week.

Assistive Technology: Are There Life Hacks for Living Alone?

Kate Gordon provided an overview of assistive technology and the potential applications for use by persons with dementia and their caregivers.

Ezra Reynolds, Assistive Technology Design Specialist, showcased technologies available through Signal Centers. Signal Centers is a statewide leader in early childhood education, assistive technology, and family development. They provide access to and acquisition of assistive technology devices and services to individuals of all ages and all disabilities living in TN.