Home-based dementia intervention prevents or delays nursing home admission, research suggests

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Dementia patients who were able to receive in-home treatment delayed nursing home admission, new research says. 

Researchers divided 300 people with cognitive impairments, including dementia, into two groups. One group received visits from a team of clinicians including a nurse, a psychiatrist and a care coordinator. They taught participants strategies for keeping track of medications and safety proofing their homes, and counseled caregivers. The control group of participants did not receive these interventions, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.

After 18 months, 70% of the intervention group still lived in their homes, while 50% of the control group participants were admitted to a nursing home, a hospital or died.

"We were surprised that we found that fewer [in the treatment group] permanently left their homes, because that is something that is pretty difficult to show," study author Quincy Miles Samus, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, told the news journal.

The findings were presented Wednesday at the Alzheimer's Association annual meeting in Vancouver.