Focus on Comfort to Improve Care of Those with Dementia

October 10, 2014 | Aging Services Risk Management


​Focusing on the comfort of residents with advanced dementia can benefit residents, families, staff, and the organization, as described by Tena Alonzo, executive vice president for education and research, the Beatitudes Campus (Phoenix), in a September 8, 2014, presentation at an Institute of Medicine workshop in Washington, DC. The presentation and the organization's approach, called Comfort Matters (formerly Comfort First), are discussed in a September 9, 2014, Long-Term Living article. The model is used in the continuing care retirement community's neighborhood for those with advanced dementia. Staff strive to know the individual, anticipate his or her needs, and "practice person-directedness, which means we need to listen as they respond to us in whatever way that they can," said Alonzo. Residents sleep when they want, eat when and what they want, and perform activities of daily living on their terms. Interdisciplinary teams are led by a nurse and social worker. However, the model's 120 competencies apply across all roles in the nursing home.

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