The majority of hospital workers are not trained to handle the unique needs of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

To further complicate matters, these facilities are usually understaffed which means every moment is precious.

Dementia Action Alliance reports that: According to 2014 statistics, people living with dementia require 36.8% longer hospitals stays. Simply put, dementia patients often do not receive the special care they require and the results are often disastrous.

Goals of the project:

Making sure that hospital staff, volunteers and first responders receive training in dementia care and learn exactly what dementia is, thus attaining knowledge on different types ofdementia-related diseases.

Screening for dementia will be added to the hospital admission process in hopes of identifying the patient as being at risk for cognitive impairment, even if there is no prior diagnosis.

Upon admission, patients with a prior diagnosis or identified as having cognitive impairment will have a Purple Angel sticker affixed to their standard issue hospital wristband, verifying they are at risk for cognitive issues.

An additional Purple Angel logo will be affixed on the outside of their door. All hospital staff members entering will then know they should approach with the patient’s special needs in mind.

The use of “sitters” or “direct observers” will be encouraged as a standard practice, allowing families to take much needed breaks without worrying that their loved ones will be left alone. Resources will be identified.

Keeping re-admissions rates low by providing a personal discharge plan and making sure patients at risk for cognitive impairments needs are properly.

We’re working to make sure that all hospitals become dementia friendly here in the United States, dementia care education is key.

Getting the community involved:

As each hospital trains for the wristband program, it is a perfect time to reach out and include all local first responders.

Hospitals administrators need to hear from their communities and involve them in all aspects of training.

We are here to instruct everyone in the best ways to volunteer and get involved.

We are well on our way to seeing that our loved ones with dementia will have safer and less confused stays at any and all hospitals.


The program went through our corporate attorneys as well as our HIPPA officer and because we identify people who may be at risk for forgetfulness using the mini cog test, it is considered a precautionary program, much like our falls program. It is strictly for staff to identify those who may be at risk for cognitive issues. They are not diagnosing, just utilizing a tool that identifies a potential risk.

We have had no complaints or questions about the program being a violation of HIPPA.

I hope this helps.

Margaret Doerr RN, MSN
Chief Nursing Executive Brooksville Regional Hospital

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Hospital Wristband Program Training Seminar

Presented by: Gary Joseph LeBlanc

Throughout this approximate 2 hour training session, we cover:

  • How the Purple Angel logo is only an “at risk” symbol.
  • The true definition of dementia, and possible reasons why it takes place.
  • A thorough understanding of Lewy Body dementia, Frontotemporal degeneration, vascular dementia, mixed dementia, Korsakoff syndrome, early onset dementia, traumatic brain injury and more.
  • Understanding that there’s two patients involved, the person living with dementia and his or her caregiver.
  • Identifying anxiety.
  • Learning proper ways to use redirection.
  • Sundown syndrome and shadowing.
  • Bathing issues.
  • Wandering, elopement and triggers to watch for.
  • The ear to mind sensory dilemma.
  • Eating dilemmas.
  • Learning to use all types of communication.
  • Accepting that all behaviors are types of communication.
  • Communication tips.
  • Understanding and how to use in-time communication.
  • Recognizing poor facial recognition.
  • Dealing with challenging behaviors and solutions.
  • Learning how to assess the behaviors and ways to respond.
  • Putting a plan together for discharging patients with cognitive impairments

This is just a summary of what is covered. This seminar is extremely thorough on dementia care.

The seminar will be presented along with a visual PowerPoint slide show and can be done through a live webinar for your team leaders.

I have all the equipment for this, and will supply if needed. Always feel free to contact me with any questions and available date.

Gary Joseph LeBlanc, CDCS
Director of Dementia Education of the Dementia Spotlight Foundation
(352) 345-6270

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