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Ftag of the Week – F744 Treatment/Service for Dementia

November 28th is less than two weeks away, so hopefully this regulatory requirement isn’t news to you. In case it is, this week’s “Ftag of the Week” is F744 Treatment/Service for Dementia. Deficiencies related to dementia care have been generally cited under F309, but beginning November 28th, dementia care services has its own stand-alone Ftag.

F744 states that a resident who displays or is diagnosed with dementia receives the appropriate treatment and services to attain or maintain his/her highest practicable physical/ mental/ psychosocial wellbeing. The IG notes that the care being provided for residents living with dementia requires a holistic focus that looks not only at the needs of the person living with dementia (PLWD), but also the other residents in the facility.

The IG also states that a facility must have “qualified staff that demonstrate the competencies and skills to support residents through the implementation of individualized approaches to care (including direct care and activities) that are directed toward understanding, prevention, relieving and/or accommodating a resident’s distress or loss of abilities.” If this sounds familiar, that’s because staff competencies come up over and over in the new long-term care survey process (LTCSP). In particular, there are abundant opportunities for surveyors to observe staff interactions with residents, including those who are cognitively impaired, to look at how the staff responds to residents’ indications of distress.

F744 also states the minimum dementia treatment and services that must be provided, which include ensuring:

  • Adequate medical care, diagnosis and supports based on the resident’s diagnosis
  • That necessary care and services are person-centered and reflect the resident’s goals . . . while maximizing the resident’s dignity, autonomy, privacy, socialization, independence, choice and safety
  • That individualized, non-pharmacological approaches to care are utilized, including the provision of meaningful activities.

The IG also defines meaningful activities as those that address the resident’s customary routines, interests, preferences, and choices to enhance the resident’s well-being.

The above noted treatments/services are also highlighted throughout the LTCSP – how are staff providing person-centered care, ensuring residents are engaged in meaningful, individualized activities, and ensuring that staff are familiar with dementia care approaches and each resident’s person-centered care plan?

Stay tuned for next week’s Ftag as we continue the countdown to Phase 2, the renumbered Ftags, and the new LTCSP!

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