New program: Care Community Coaching

We are proud to announce that the Washington State Chapter has recently hired Jessica Welsch as our first-ever Practice Recommendation Coach for the Alzheimer’s Association’s new Care Community Coaching program. The Care Community Coaching program is a strengths-based consultative coaching program for nursing homes in Washington State in order to promote the adoption and implementation of the Alzheimer’s Association’s evidence-based Dementia Care Practice Recommendations (DCPR).

We interviewed Jessica so that you can learn more about her, the Care Community Coaching program and how it works.

Jessica, tell us about yourself.
Photo of Jessica WelschI started as Practice Recommendation Coach here at the Alzheimer’s Association in August 2020 and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been working remotely during this time. When I was a teenager, I watched my fiercely independent grandmother slowly forget everyone she knew and many of the things she knew how to do. As her memories slipped away, staff at the nursing home where she lived recognized ways to help her live a full and peaceful life to the very end. I felt drawn to this role as a Practice Recommendation Coach as a way to help pay it forward for other families, individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia and the people who support them.

Tell us about the Alzheimer’s Association evidence-based Dementia Care Practice Recommendations.
The 2018 Dementia Care Practice Recommendations were developed to better define quality care across all care settings and throughout the disease course. They are intended for professional care providers who work with individuals living with dementia and their families in residential and community-based care settings. There are 56 recommendations across 10 care areas. The recommendations include things like: know the person living with dementia, recognize and accept the person’s reality and create and maintain a supportive community for individuals, families and staff. Click here to view a full list of the recommendations.

Dementia Care Practice Recommendations Graphic

How will the Community Care Coaching program help with the implementation of these recommendations?
The overall coaching model is based on a general healthcare quality improvement model. The process includes determining eligibility, learning more about the DCPR, pre-surveys around readiness to change and staffing and then working with the coach to begin work on a self-assessment tool.

This tool will allow each care community to better understand their strengths and opportunities based on the 56 recommendations, and more specifically, the actual recommendations in action. Then, working with the coach, each care community will create their own action plan to move toward the adoption and implementation of the recommendations, with quality person-centered focused care being the highest priority of topic areas.

What kinds of outcomes are you looking for from the Community Care Coaching program?
The primary outcome of the program is intended to be system-level change to create better quality of care for individuals living in care communities. Each of the 56 Dementia Care Practice Recommendations are created from evidence-based studies by experts in the field.

During the coaching process, we will focus on three key areas:
1) Policies and procedures
2) Education and training
3) Care practices

Care communities will develop individual action plans based on their priorities, so changes are tailored to meet what each community needs most. Outcomes will target areas of greatest need and impact.

How is this program funded?
Washington State participates in the Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Fund Grant Program. CMPs are fines imposed on nursing facilities that do not meet federal health and safety standards. Washington State receives a portion of the funds collected to be reinvested in support of projects that improve the overall quality of life and/or care of nursing facility residents.

Nursing facility providers, stakeholders and other organizations are then encouraged to submit CMP fund grant applications for the development and implementation of quality improvement initiatives that directly or indirectly benefit nursing facility residents. The Alzheimer’s Association applied for and received a grant to fund provision of the Care Coaching Program to up to 25 Washington State nursing homes over the next two years. The Alzheimer’s Association Washington State Chapter is the first in the nation to adopt this care coaching model through the CMP Fund Grant Program.

Where can people go to learn more?
The Alzheimer’s Association will be hosting a monthly 30-minute webinar about the Dementia Care Practice Recommendations. If you are interested in learning more about the program or would like to sign up for one of these webinars, please contact Jessica Welsch, Practice Recommendation Coach, at:

Upcoming webinars:

Sep. 22, 2020 1:30 – 2 p.m. PDT

Oct. 22, 2020 10:30 – 11 p.m. PDT

Nov. 17, 2020 1:30 – 2 p.m. PDT

For more information, please download a flyer here.

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