The Gerontological Society of America has published a new set of recommendations to improve care for people with dementia-related psychosis.

In a white paper released Thursday, the society highlighted the challenges that people with dementia-related psychosis and their caregivers can experience in moves through different healthcare settings, and it proposed care strategies. 

“When left untreated, the hallucinations and delusions that frequently occur in patients with dementia can cause significant patient and caregiver distress and often lead to institutionalization,” said Gary W. Small, M.D., FGSA, who chaired the workgroup. “There is a pressing need for greater awareness of the condition and more effective diagnostic and treatment strategies.”

The paper covers topics including barriers to care in long-term care facilities and strategies for challenges in these settings. Staff training and support also are addressed.

Team-based approaches are ideal in long-term care settings, the workgroup concluded. “Additional education for staff, as well as surveyors, could help enhance resident quality of life and support guideline-based care,” the group wrote.

With more training and education, primary care providers could enhance patient care by detecting and diagnosing dementia-related psychosis at earlier stages, the workgroup wrote. It also foresees new modalities for delivering patient care, such as telehealth systems, and electronic medical records playing a role in better care.