Providers warming up to free dementia resource, feds note

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The Hand in Hand program has received positive feedback, CMS says.
The Hand in Hand program has received positive feedback, CMS says.

Nursing homes are no longer returning or refusing a free dementia care training resource, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“While we did experience some nursing homes that weren't used to this type of free resource and sent it back, we have not been experiencing that phenomenon for some time,” a CMS spokeswoman told McKnight's

The statement came after the American Association for Long-Term Care Nursing announced on its website that some providers were returning the Hand in Hand program resources, not understanding that they were free or what they were supposed to be used for. Additionally, some considered the program “repetitive,” “not at all user friendly” or “too long,” according to reader comments posted on www.mcknights.com.

Overall, the dementia toolkit has received “very positive feedback,” the CMS spokeswoman said. At least one user described Hand in Hand as “great,” with others saying the video clips were instructive.

A section of the Affordable Care Act required CMS to ensure that nurse aides receive regular dementia care training. Hand in Hand now can be purchased for $100 from NTIS at (800) 553-6847, which includes eight DVDs and instructions for the files. Visitors to www.cms-handinhandtoolkit.info also can request free material.