A new study from the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute has found that person-centered dementia care, which involves both patients and their caregivers, can be effectively provided by an engaged low-cost workforce — care coordinator assistants.
Under the close supervision of clinical professionals, the care coordinator assistants, known as CCAs, work as integral health care team members conducting home and phone visits with dementia patients and family caregivers. CCAs, who typically have at most two years of post-high school education, are selected through a rigorous and innovative screening process. Once hired and trained, CCAs are assigned tasks focused on patient engagement and caregiver support that require less training and expertise than that of nurses or social workers.
As the number of older adults increases and health care resources cannot keep pace, the question of how to provide good care for this growing population has become increasingly pressing.