Dementia-related challenging behaviours can be managed virtually

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A new virtual program to assess and treat people with challenging, dementia-related behaviours is helping acute care hospitals, long-term care homes and family caregivers better care for people living with dementia and improve their quality of life.

The Virtual Behavioural Medicine Program (VBM) provides rapid, virtual access to healthcare professionals who specialize in responsive behaviours such as physical and verbal aggression, agitation, hallucinations and paranoia. 

For former MP and Senior Cabinet Minister Lisa Raitt whose husband, Bruce, has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, virtual access to Baycrest Behavioural Neurologist Dr. Morris Freedman and the VBM team helped her manage her husband’s violent outbursts and keep him at home.

“I was told to report behaviours and incidents to them on a frequent basis, and we could actually deal with them in real-time,” Raitt explains.

“Bruce would be having an incident, and I could show it to them on my laptop.”

Through medications and behavioural interventions, they were able to manage the outbursts.

“Nothing can reverse the cognitive erosion, but the program mitigated the behaviours, which were the problem,” she says. “Without this treatment, it would have been far worse – inconceivable. We would not have been able to continue the way we were living before.”

You can help provide a way through dementia for families like Lisa’s by donating to Baycrest.
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