Experts seeking a holistic approach to health care for people with dementia have published a report that establishes the values, practices, and recommendations for person-centered dementia care.

“Overall dementia care in this country is impersonal and fragmented,” the authors wrote. “This paper is a call to action to change what is considered the gold standard.”

The report contains a framework for a holistic health care approach that considers the psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of individuals with dementia.

The expert group, called Dementia Initiative, came to consensus agreement on the framework and its contents. David Gifford, MD, MPH, senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs for the American Health Care Association; Lindsay Schwartz, PhD, director of workforce and quality for the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL); and Jane Clairmont, owner and chief executive officer of English Rose Estates, Edina, Minn., participated in the effort.

The white paper includes recommendations for the first steps in converting the country’s dementia care systems and practices to person-centered care.

It calls for the establishment of an advisory group that includes people with dementia.

This group would be expected to develop a plan for appropriate prescribing guidelines for the use of antipsychotic medications for people who have dementia.

The Dementia Initiative originally convened to discuss the overuse of antipsychotics for people with dementia.

“As discussion among the diverse group of dementia care experts got underway in the spring of 2011, it became quickly evident that focusing on one dysfunctional aspect of dementia care—in this case, the overuse of antipsychotics—was not possible without backing up and addressing the root cause of the dysfunction,” the authors wrote.

“This white paper provides a comprehensive guide to what person-centered care for residents with dementia encompasses and how to deliver that care, utilizing a holistic approach,” said NCAL’s Schwartz.