Ochsner & Lambeth House Launch Pilot Program for Memory Care
12-Month Study Examines Benefits of Interactive Technology in Memory Care Residents
Ochsner Health System and Lambeth House teamed to launch the Innovative Care in Alzheimer’s Research program – an intervention study of dementia management with interactive technology. This partnership between a continuous care retirement community and regional healthcare leader is the first of its kind in Louisiana to infuse interactive technology into its care plan for residents.
Over the course of a 12-month pilot program, Ochsner and Lambeth House will investigate the effectiveness of a customized treatment plan delivered through a pilot program utilizing remote technology, or telehealth. The study outcome variables including mortality rate, neuropsychiatric and behavioral symptoms, quality of life, activity engagement, staff and family caregiving burden, clinical health status and healthcare utilization. Lambeth House staff will undergo specific training to facilitate the program, which focuses on the 16 residents in Mercer’s Way – the memory care unit at Lambeth House where residents have various types and stages of dementia.
The World Health Organization estimates 50 million people worldwide have dementia – a general term that refers to the severe decline of mental function. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of the condition with a new diagnosis every 67 seconds in the United States. Dementia follows three stages of progression with increasingly serious symptoms:
- Mild Dementia – difficulty remembering words and names, learning and remembering new information, planning and managing complicated activities such as driving experiencing sadness, anxiety or disinterest in once enjoyable activities
- Moderate Dementia – poor judgment, problems with personal hygiene, inappropriate language, wandering
- Severe Dementia – extensive memory loss, limited or no mobility, difficulty swallowing, bowel and bladder control issues, difficulty recognizing family members and caregivers
As part of the program, each patient is outfitted with an iPad along with a Fitbit to monitor sleep and movement. Once a month, Mercer’s Way residents will participate in a 30 to 60-minute telehealth visit with an Ochsner neuropsychologists – a type of psychologist that specializes in understanding the relationship between the physical brain and behavior. These visits will be conducted virtually, through an iPad where a specialist is able to consult patients in the same way as an in-person appointment through Ochsner’s state-of-the-art technology. The monthly visits will be in addition to their current care plan with Lambeth House and will assess various aspects of a patient’s wellness plan, including cognitive, behavioral and environmental factors.
“Routine is critically important for patients suffering with dementia and other neurological diseases. Even something as seemingly simple as leaving the facility to go to a doctor’s appointment can result in unnecessary confusion and stress for a patient,” said Robert John Sawyer, PhD, Co-Director, Cognitive Disorders and Brain Health Program, Department of Neurology and Neurosciences at Ochsner Health System. “By leveraging telehealth, this partnership enables Ochsner to bring high-quality neurological care to these residents in a familiar setting.”
Dr. Sawyer added, “Integrating interactive technology into the unit at Lambeth House is believed to be beneficial both to residents and the care team. Residents use the iPads to play music and communicate with their loved ones face to face, which has anecdotally had a positive impact on anxiety and mood. For the care team, the data collected from the Fitbit provides valuable insights on sleep and movement patterns, which can inform adjustments to individual care plans.”
“Lambeth House is, and has always been, progressive and forward-thinking in its approach to providing services that support older adults,” said Jeré Hales, Chief Operating Officer, Lambeth House. “Through our partnership with Ochsner, we hope to leverage technology to further elevate our high-quality care. We believe that this program has the potential to drastically improve the care and lives of seniors at Lambeth House, regionally, and beyond.”
Funding for the Innovative Care in Alzheimer’s Research program is made possible through the Lambeth House Foundation. For more information about Lambeth House visit www.lambethhouse.com or call 504-865-1960.
The department of Neurology at Ochsner is actively involved in studies involving memory loss, including dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. Ochsner is the only program in Louisiana listed in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals ranking across three specialty categories, where it is number 38 in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery.
To learn more visit https://research.ochsner.org/clinical-research/neurosciences/. To support this ongoing work, call 504.703.0755.
About Ochsner Health System
Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals, and more than 200 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 60 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs nearly 25,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About Lambeth House
Established in 1998, Lambeth House is located in Uptown New Orleans along the scenic crescent of the Mississippi River. Registered as a Continuous Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Lambeth House is comprised of 118 independent living apartment homes and 61 assisted living apartments. The campus includes St. Anna’s at Lambeth House which is comprised of 72 nursing care private units. For more information about Lambeth House visit www.lambethhouse.com or call 504.865.1960. Follow Lambeth House on Facebook.