Florida-based post-acute and hospice care franchisor Interim HealthCare, a subsidiary of Caring Brands International, is expanding its specialized dementia care program to the United Kingdom. Staff in the United Kingdom will begin training for the program later this month.
All 325 of Interim’s franchisees in 44 states currently offer the program, which was launched in 2018. Interim customized their care processes to address the specific needs of dementia patients and their families. In addition to clinical care, specially trained staff help educate the family about the changes occurring in their loved one’s brain and how to adapt in order to care for them effectively, including the fear, mistrust and anxiety that dementia patients often experience.
“The increasingly large elderly population means there will be more patients with long-term care needs,” Jennifer Sheets, CEO of Interim HealthCare, told Hospice News. “To meet this increase in demand, the complexity of multiple diagnoses people are trying to manage and all of the social determinants that affect health and wellness, it is critical that we are able to meet and enrich people’s needs through a variety of service offerings at every stage of care.”
Interim based its caregiver training on the Positive Approach to Care (PAC) methodology developed by occupational therapist and educator Teepa Snow. Education modules, totaling 5-6 hours of webinar training, are designed to instruct caregivers on how to keep their patients safe, comfortable and meaningfully engaged. Interim’s Catherine Tedder, senior manager of program development led the launch of the program after receiving her PAC certification.
As of May 2019, 3,750 Interim HealthCare family caregivers have completed the program and another 1,980 are in progress, the company told Hospice News.
Though cancer remains the most frequently occurring diagnosis among Medicare beneficiaries who enroll in hospice care, more than 172,000 dementia patients died in hospice care during 2017, representing 15.6% of all hospice patients that year, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). This is up from 162,000 in 2016.
By 2050, an estimated 14 million people aged 65 and older will have been diagnosed with dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Dementia patients in general have the longest lengths of stay in hospice, an average of 110 days, with the median value at 55 days, compared to an average 48 days for cancer patients, 38 days for patients with kidney disease, and nearly 82 days for cardiac patients.
The dementia program is component of the company’s HomeLife Enrichment® care approach, designed to provide care from a whole-person, individualized approach. Other disease-specific programs under the auspices of HomeLife Enrichment® include diabetes, heart disease, chronic care, among others.
Interim’s franchise business model is unique in health care. Franchise owners in the network range from large private equity investors to mom-and-pop startups, some of which have been in the owners’ families for two or three generations. The company recently ranked 24th in Franchise Direct’s Top 100 Global Franchises. In addition to hospice and palliative care, the company’s franchisees provided home health care, home pediatric care, health care staffing and senior care services.