Neurobehavioural Program: Management of neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia in long-term care

Participating Organization(s): Region of Peel, William Osler Health System


Sixty-two per cent of residents in long-term care are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, and 46 per cent will have behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). This leads to increased hospitalizations, decreased quality of life, and increased mortality and distress for caregivers. The Neurobehavioural Program provides support and education to behavioural support staff, families/caregivers and the interdisciplinary team in long-term care. 

The Neurobehavioural Program was developed to provide a clinical process of care delivery for optimal behavioural management of long-term care residents with BPSD. The team is comprised of two Nurse Practitioners and a Geriatrician whose aim is to improve access to specialized services, strengthen nursing home capacity, employ best practices and ultimately improve the quality of life of long-term care residents with neuropsychiatric features of dementia. 

Implementation of the Neurobehavioural Program has increased onsite access to a specialized team for behavioural management. This has improved the quality of life of residents, and has led to a reduction in emergency department visits, critical incidents, behavioural unit admissions and polypharmacy. In addition, it has also improved long-term care staff satisfaction, and staff and physician understanding of behavioural neurology as it relates to dementia.