CFHI and Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Join Forces to Improve Dementia Care

St. John’s, Canada – June 4, 2018 –  The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador today announced that 39 long term care organizations will participate in an 18-month province-wide program designed to improve dementia care through more appropriate use of antipsychotic medications.

The Quality of Life for Residents in Long Term Care: The Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) Collaborative will help reduce the inappropriate use of antipsychotics and the risks associated with their use such as worsening cognitive functioning, confusion, dizziness, sleepiness, stroke and falls. It will also improve the quality and experience of dementia care for residents, families and staff.

Provincial long term homes will collaborate with nine homes from Prince Edward Island and five from the Senior Quality Leap Initiative, a North American network of long term care organizations focused on clinical care and the safety of seniors.

Since 2014, CFHI has supported over 140 long term care organizations from across Canada to improve the appropriate use of antipsychotic medication and the quality of life for residents through a pan-Canadian collaborative, as well as provice-wide scale up in New Brunswick and Quebec. This new program will build on their success.

CFHI is providing $58,500 in funding in addition to significant support to spread the AUA approach, including dedicated CFHI staff to manage collaborative activities, coaching and faculty support, an online resource hub with standardized education to support person centred approaches, and evaluation support. The province will provide $319,000 over three years to fund staff to support implementation and sustainability.  

CFHI will provide tailored learning and coaching to help interprofessional teams–nurses, personal care workers, physicians, pharmacists and administrators —use data to identify patients who may benefit from non-drug therapies to treat behaviours related to dementia. Equipped with better information about each resident, direct care staff can then work with families to tailor services and provide personalized care and individualized therapies.  

A provincial advisory committee will be created to oversee the program. The committee will include representatives from each regional health authority, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Health and Community Services and CFHI.    

The AUA Approach has already demonstrated success:

  • The pan-Canadian AUA collaborative, resulted in a 54 percent reduction in the inappropriate use of antipsychotics. Results showed significant reductions in socially inappropriate behaviour, resistance to care and a 20 percent decrease in falls.
  • Phase 1 of the New Brunswick collaborative saw a 43 percent reduction in the inappropriate use of antipsychotics and the number of falls decreased by one-third.
  • Residents who had their antipsychotics reduced or eliminated became more socially engaged, were better able to eat independently, and became more wakeful, improving the experience of care for families and staff.

According to CFHI President Maureen O’Neil, the overuse of these medications is an issue across Canada – and around the world – but there is hope. “In 2016-17, about 22 percent of residents of Canadian long-term care homes were on an antipsychotic without a diagnosis of psychosis, but just 5 years ago that rate was 32 percent,” says Ms. O’Neil. “Our experience supporting the appropriate use of antipsychotics across Canada demonstrates that it is possible to improve dementia care and reduce the inappropriate use of these medications through person-centred approaches.”

 “Through our participation in this initiative, Newfoundland and Labrador is working to improve the care, as well as the health and safety of long-term care residents with dementia. The program will result in more individualized person-centred care plans and greater involvement of families where appropriate to help with the care of their loved ones,” says the Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

 Teams in Newfoundland and Labrador include: 

Eastern Health

1. Waterford Hospital

St. John's

2. Dr. Walter Templeman Health Centre

Bell Island

3. The Agnes Pratt Home

St. John's

4. Salvation Army Glenbrook Lodge

St. John's

5. Pleasant View Towers

St. John's

6. Saint Luke's Homes

St. John's

7. St. Patrick's Mercy Homes

St. John's

8. Caribou Memorial Veteran's Pavilion

St. John's

9. Chancellor Park

St. John's

10. Lion's Manor Nursing Home


11. Private Josiah Squibb Memorial Pavilion


12. Golden Heights Manor


13. Bonavista Protective Community Residence


14. U.S. Memorial Health Centre

St. Lawrence

15. Blue Crest Inter Faith Home

Grand Bank

16. Dr. Albert O'Mahoney Memorial Manor


17. Clarenville Protective Community Residence


Central Health

18. Notre Dame Bay Memorial Health Centre


19. Fogo Island Health Centre

Fogo Island

20. Bonnews Lodge


21. Lakeside Homes


22. Connaigre Peninsula Health Centre

Harbour Breton

23. Dr. Hugh Twomey Health Centre


24. Baie Verte Health Centre

Baie Verte

25. A. M. Guy Memorial Health Centre


26. North Haven Manor and Protective Community Residence


27. Valley Vista Senior Citizen's Home


28. Carmelite House

Grand Falls-Windsor

Western Health

29. Dr. Charles L. Legrow Health Centre

Port aux Basques

30. Calder Health Centre


31. Bonne Bay Health Centre

Norris Point

32. Rufus Guinchard Health Centre

Port Saunders

33. Bay St. George Long Term Care Home

Stephenville Crossing

34. Corner Brook Long Term Care Home

Corner Brook

35. Protective Community Residences

Corner Brook

Labrador/ Grenfell

36. John M. Gray Health Centre & Complex

St. Anthony

37. Labrador West Health Centre

Labrador City

38. Labrador South Health Centre


39. Happy Valley Goose Bay Long Term Care Home

Happy Valley-Goose Bay

For more information:

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. 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.

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

  • Christine LaRocque, Senior Communications Specialist, CFHI
    Cell: 343-998-5143 
  • Emily Timmins
    Media Relations ManagerHealth and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and LabradorOffice: (709)729-6986
    Cell: (709) 693-1292