CFHI and NBANH to Improve Dementia Care in New Brunswick

Successful program spreading to nursing homes throughout the province

Fredericton, New Brunswick – March 17, 2016 – The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes (NBANH) today announced a new partnership that will improve dementia care through the appropriate use of antipsychotic medications. The partnership will be supported by $600,000 in funding from the Government of New Brunswick.

The New Brunswick Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics Collaborative is a two year bilingual program that builds on the results achieved through CFHI’s pan-Canadian Reducing Antipsychotic Medication in Long Term Care collaborative that concluded in October 2015. The first year of the new collaborative will involve up to 15 nursing homes in New Brunswick and will be rolled out to the remaining nursing homes across the province in 2017. New Brunswick’s Department of Social Development is providing $100,000 for the first phase of the collaborative, and another $500,000 for the second phase. CFHI will be matching the government’s contribution and providing $500,000 for phase one of the program, which includes direct and in-kind support to participating homes, such as seed funding for teams.

CFHI will provide tailored learning and coaching to help interprofessional teams of healthcare providers at New Brunswick nursing homes use data to identify patients who may benefit from non-drug therapies to treat behavioural issues associated with dementia. Training staff to work together to provide a person-centred, non-pharmacological approach to managing these behaviours is a key element of CFHI's support. Armed with better information about each resident, front-line staff can tailor services to support not only quality of care, but also quality of life for residents.

New Brunswick has among the highest provincial rates of antipsychotic use in the elderly. In 2013, the rate of antipsychotic medication use was nearly two times higher in New Brunswick than the rest of Canada. The situation in New Brunswick has been exacerbated by the fact that the province’s population is aging at a faster rate than the rest of the country. It is forecast that by 2020, the New Brunswick population will be five years older than the national average.

Fifty-seven long term care facilities across seven Canadian provinces and one territory participated in CFHI’s Reducing Antipsychotic Medication in Long Term Care collaborative, and more than half of the targeted residents had their antipsychotic medications discontinued or reduced. This, in turn, led to 20 percent fewer falls by participating residents and no increase in aggressive behaviours.

The York Care Centre in Fredericton, a NBANH member and participant in the original CFHI-led collaborative, achieved significant results: reducing antipsychotic medication use by 46 percent, improving care for residents and their families, and reducing costs. Now, NBANH and CFHI are working to spread York Care Centre’s success to other nursing homes in New Brunswick.

In Canada, one-in-four residents of long term care is taking antipsychotic medication without a diagnosis of psychosis. Non-medication interventions, such as patient-centred approaches, have proven to be effective in managing the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and addressing challenging behaviours. In fact, they are often more effective than drug treatments which have limited benefit and can cause harm.

For more information about this work, please visit:

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“Dementia is a debilitating condition that affects the quality of life of many Canadians and their families. This program will help improve the appropriate use of medication to treat seniors and their health.”

- The Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health

“Addressing the issue of healthy aging and care for seniors is a top priority for our government, as our seniors’ population continues to grow. This important investment of $600,000 will help improve care for residents of nursing homes diagnosed with dementia and reduce costs to our nursing homes.”

- The Hon. Cathy Rogers, Minister of Social Development, New Brunswick

“The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement is delighted to partner with the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes to improve care for nursing home residents with dementia. This collaborative will significantly improve in the way nursing homes provide resident-centred care in New Brunswick.”

- Maureen O’Neil, O.C., President,CFHI

“The New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes is proud to partner with CFHI and the Province of New Brunswick for the implementation of the New Brunswick Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics Collaborative. All New Brunswickers should take pride in the fact that this initiative will improve the quality of life of our cherished nursing home residents.”

- Michael Keating, Executive Director, NBANH

About CFHI
The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement identifies proven innovations and accelerates their spread across Canada, improving patient care, the health of Canadians and value-for-money. These innovations could save provincial-territorial healthcare budgets over $1 billion per year. CFHI is a not-for-profit organization funded by Health Canada. Visit for more information.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.

Leading excellence in long term care, the mission of the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes is to lead member homes through a united voice by advocating excellence in long term care and service delivery in New Brunswick.

For more information, or to arrange media interviews, please contact:

Joel Baglole
Senior Communications Specialist
Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement
T: 613.728.2238 x233
C: 613.797.6481