CFHI and Government of Newfoundland and Labrador join forces to improve dementia care

ST. JOHN'S, June 4, 2018 /CNW/ - The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador today announced that 39 long term care organizations will participate in an 18-month province-wide program designed to improve dementia care through more appropriate use of antipsychotic medications.

The Quality of Life for Residents in Long Term Care: The Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) Collaborative will help reduce the inappropriate use of antipsychotics and the risks associated with their use such as worsening cognitive functioning, confusion, dizziness, sleepiness, stroke and falls. It will also improve the quality and experience of dementia care for residents, families and staff.

Provincial long term homes will collaborate with nine homes from Prince Edward Island and five from the Seniors Quality Leap Initiative, a North American network of long term care organizations focused on clinical care and the safety of seniors.

Since 2014, CFHI has supported over 140 long term care organizations from across Canada to improve the appropriate use of antipsychotic medication and the quality of life for residents through a pan-Canadian collaborative, as well as province-wide scale up in New Brunswick and Quebec. This new program will build on their success.

CFHI is providing $58,500 in funding in addition to significant support to spread the AUA approach, including dedicated CFHI staff to manage collaborative activities, coaching and faculty support, an online resource hub with standardized education to support person centred approaches, and evaluation support. The province will provide $319,000 over three years to fund staff to support implementation and sustainability.

CFHI will provide tailored learning and coaching to help interprofessional teams - nurses, personal care workers, physicians, pharmacists and administrators --use data to identify patients who may benefit from non-drug therapies to treat behaviours related to dementia. Equipped with better information about each resident, direct care staff can then work with families to tailor services and provide personalized care and individualized therapies.

A provincial advisory committee will be created to oversee the program. The committee will include representatives from each regional health authority, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Health and Community Services and CFHI.

The AUA Approach has already demonstrated success:

  • The pan-Canadian AUA collaborative, resulted in a 54 percent reduction in the inappropriate use of antipsychotics. Results showed significant reductions in socially inappropriate behaviour, resistance to care and a 20 percent decrease in falls.
  • Phase 1 of the New Brunswick collaborative saw a 43 percent reduction in the inappropriate use of antipsychotics and the number of falls decreased by one-third.
  • Residents who had their antipsychotics reduced or eliminated became more socially engaged, were better able to eat independently, and became more wakeful, improving the experience of care for families and staff.

According to CFHI President Maureen O'Neil, the overuse of these medications is an issue across Canada - and around the world - but there is hope. "In 2016-17, about 22 percent of residents of Canadian long-term care homes were on an antipsychotic without a diagnosis of psychosis, but just 5 years ago that rate was 32 percent," says Ms. O'Neil. "Our experience supporting the appropriate use of antipsychotics across Canada demonstrates that it is possible to improve dementia care and reduce the inappropriate use of these medications through person-centred approaches."

"Through our participation in this initiative, Newfoundland and Labrador is working to improve the care, as well as the health and safety of long-term care residents with dementia. The program will result in more individualized person-centred care plans and greater involvement of families where appropriate to help with the care of their loved ones," says the Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Teams in Newfoundland and Labrador include:


    Eastern Health

    1. Waterford Hospital                                    St. John's
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    2. Dr. Walter Templeman Health Centre                    Bell Island
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    3. The Agnes Pratt Home                                  St. John's
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    4. Salvation Army Glenbrook Lodge                        St. John's
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    5. Pleasant View Towers                                  St. John's
    -----------------------                                  ----------

    6. Saint Luke's Homes                                    St. John's
    ---------------------                                    ----------

    7. St. Patrick's Mercy Homes                             St. John's
    ----------------------------                             ----------

    8. Caribou Memorial Veteran's Pavilion                   St. John's
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    9. Chancellor Park                                       St. John's
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    10. Lion's Manor Nursing Home                            Placentia
    -----------------------------                            ---------

    11. Private Josiah Squibb Memorial Pavilion              Carbonear
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    12. Golden Heights Manor                                 Bonavista
    ------------------------                                 ---------

    13. Bonavista Protective Community Residence             Bonavista
    --------------------------------------------             ---------

    14. U.S. Memorial Health Centre                          St. Lawrence
    -------------------------------                          ------------

    15. Blue Crest Inter Faith Home                          Grand Bank
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    16. Dr. Albert O'Mahoney Memorial Manor                  Clarenville
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    17. Clarenville Protective Community Residence           Clarenville
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    Central Health

    18. Notre Dame Bay Memorial Health Centre                Twillingate
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    19. Fogo Island Health Centre                            Fogo Island
    -----------------------------                            -----------

    20. Bonnews Lodge                                        New-Wes-Valley
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    21. Lakeside Homes                                       Gander
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    22. Connaigre Peninsula Health Centre                    Harbour Breton
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    23. Dr. Hugh Twomey  Health Centre                       Botwood
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    24. Baie Verte Health Centre                             Baie Verte
    ----------------------------                             ----------

    25. A. M. Guy Memorial Health Centre                     Buchans
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    26. North Haven Manor and Protective Community Residence Lewisporte
    -------------------------------------------------------- ----------

    27. Valley Vista Senior Citizen's Home                   Springdale
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    28. Carmelite House                                      Grand Falls-Windsor
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    Western Health

    29. Dr. Charles L. Legrow Health Centre                  Port aux Basques
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    30. Calder Health Centre                                 Burgeo
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    31. Bonne Bay Health Centre                              Norris Point
    ---------------------------                              ------------

    32. Rufus Guinchard Health Centre                        Port Saunders
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    33. Bay St. George Long Term Care Home                   Stephenville Crossing
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    34. Corner Brook Long Term Care Home                     Corner Brook
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    35. Protective Community Residences                      Corner Brook
    -----------------------------------                      ------------

    Labrador/ Grenfell

    36. John M. Gray Health Centre & Complex                 St. Anthony
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    37. Labrador West Health Centre                          Labrador City
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    38. Labrador South Health Centre                         Forteau
    --------------------------------                         -------

    39. Happy Valley Goose Bay Long Term Care Home           Happy Valley-Goose Bay
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For more information:

About CFHI

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement identifies proven innovations and accelerates their spread across Canada, improving patient care, the health of Canadians and value-for-money. CFHI is a not-for-profit organization funded by Health Canada. Visit for more information.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.



Christine LaRocque, Senior Communications Specialist, CFHI, Cell: 343-998-5143,; Emily Timmins, Media Relations, ManagerHealth and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and LabradorOffice: (709)729-6986, Cell: (709) 693-1292,

SOURCE Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement


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