In-Home Dementia Care and Transitional Care [Interview][Transcript]

Sharon_Roth_McQuire_In_Home_Dementia_CareGuest: Sharon Roth McQuire
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Sharon Roth McQuire oversees the BrightStar Care clinical-quality platform including operationalizing the client care experience, designing clinical operational systems for domestic and international BrightStar Care locations, and managing clinical policies and procedures. Additionally, she leads Joint Commission accreditation and related processes, clinical program development, and plays a significant role in the launch of BrightStar Senior Living, BrightStar’s first residential product line focused on assisted living and memory care.

Segment overview: Sharon Roth McQuire, Chief Clinical Quality Officer of BrightStar Care, discusses in home dementia care and transitional care.


Health Professional Radio – In Home Dementia Care

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, I am your host Neal Howard. Our guest in studio today is Sharon Roth Maguire, Chief Clinical Quality Officer of BrightStar Care located in Chicago. And she’s here today to talk with us about home dementia care and transitional care. How are you doing today Sharon?

Sharon Roth Maguire: I’m great Neal. Thank you.

N: Thank you so much for returning. You’ve got more than 30 years of experience into healthcare industry, including but not limited to a background in advanced practice nursing. Now were you a nurse long before you joined BrightStar or is this something that you became as a result of being involved with BrightStar?

S: No, I’ve been a nurse for a long time and I am very proud of that. But I was a geriatric nurse practitioner for approximately the last 28 plus years and that really is something I’m very proud of. I’ve had the opportunity to also teach and do some wonderful leadership in national nursing organizations but, yes I’ve been a nurse and a nurse practitioner long before coming to BrightStar.

N: You specialize in home healthcare, do you also include Alzheimer’s and dementia care when it comes to home healthcare? Or are you strictly focusing on folks who are coherent and in their right state of mind?

S: No, we do all kinds of home care as you mentioned. So pediatric to geriatric, from the simplest to the most complex. And we also specialize in certain kinds of care and it’s not to say that there aren’t other folks out there who can care for individuals with dementia. But we do just by the virtue of the fact that most of our clients are older adults, we do see a lot of people with dementia. It’s absolutely true that the older you live, the older you live to be the more likely you are to develop dementia. And so truly by the nature of the kind of care we give in the home and the nature of the clients that we see, we do have a large number of residents or clients with dementia. But what we have done is develop a wonderful proprietary evidence based approach, very person-centered around the care of individuals living with dementia. This is a passion of mine as someone who in their professional career has worked with many, many families who have loved ones with dementia. And I’ve really had the privilege of journeying with them through many, many challenging times, as well as many happy times. I know that that they really need special care and so if a person with dementia is doing their very best to try to remain at home. And their family is doing their very best to support them in that desire to stay at home and not move to for example an institution or residential care, that we really needed to design something very, very special. And so our platform is called “Bright Star Connection” and the name was chosen specifically to reflect how important those connections are to people with dementia. And you can get a little cutesy with it and talking about sort of neurotransmitter type connection.

N: Uh huh.

S: And that’s part of it. We want to keep folks cognitively engaged and stimulated but frankly it’s really more about those interpersonal connection. I always talk about folks with dementia in terms of how important it is to them to be acknowledged for who they are today and who they once were and equally important who they still can be. And just because I have a diagnosis of dementia doesn’t mean I’m any less of a person than I once was. Our program really has been designed to beautifully capture all of those attributes and support that individual’s dementia in being all they can be and honoring them for who they are, who they were and they still want to be and helping the family have that mindset as well.

N: Uh huh.

S: So this platform which is again very person-centered but also based on the national standards of the Alzheimer’s Association reflects these strategies. We have a wonderful tool, I call it the “daily connections tool” and what that does is capture the essence of a person with dementia, their typical day in very minute detail such that we can really understand how to work with them when we’re in the home. We know what their stressors are, we know what their soothers are. We also have tools that help monitor some of their behavioral challenges because this can be something that’s very troubling for families. We have a number of other tools that are incorporated but my point is this platform with specially trained staff who learn how to work with individuals with dementia. And we have resources for the family members of the person with dementia, is such a wonderful comprehensive approach to really meeting the needs of the folks with dementia in their own home. And keeping them safe, keeping them engaged, keeping them connected. And it’s turned out to be a wonderful, wonderful platform.

N: Now you mentioned standards, the Alzheimer’s Association standards a moment ago. You’re also accredited by the Joint Commission as well, could you talk a bit about how that relates to your proprietary approach to Alzheimer’s and dementia care?

S: Yeah, it’s a wonderful combination truly, when you think of a National Alzheimer’s Association being the standard setter for the care of persons with dementia regardless of where they live. And then you couple that with the Joint Commission standards around quality and safety, it’s a perfect marriage really. One of the examples of our the relevance of the Joint Commission Accreditation is that every entity that’s accredited by the Joint Commission – whether you’re a hospital, a nursing home, or a home care company like we are – are required to follow what’s known as “The National Patient Safety Goals.” And one of The National Patient Safety Goals is around “home safety,” another is around “medication safety,” another is around “fall risk reduction.” And you might guess that an individual living with dementia has challenges in each of this areas because of their cognitive decline, their memory loss and their periodic confusion that they experience. They absolutely can be at risk of safety issues related to their personal safety, the safety of their environment and the safety of others, right? And so using these standards of the Joint Commission around this National Patient Safety Goals really puts the care scenario at a much higher level much higher standard that it would be with another provider who wasn’t necessarily following these National Patient Safety Goals. So it’s a wonderful marriage of these very high standards from both The Alzheimer’s Association as well as The Joint Commission that allows our BrightStar program to be something truly special. The other thing that I would say is we have a promise that we call out as a brand standard of our company and it’s called “Guaranteed Compatibility.” And I know I haven’t spoken about that yet but it’s really something very important. What that means is we match the caregiver to the client and that means that especially in the care of individuals with dementia, we find someone who is really going to connect with that client. And it’s a wonderful thing from both the client’s perspective, certainly the client’s family’s perspective but also for our caregivers. It’s certainly not like

N: No.

S: But in some ways it is, right?

N: Well, yeah.

S: Because you’re trying to find similar traits and characteristics that complement each other and that’s a very powerful part of our platform.

N: And normally it’s a family member that’s going to be initially involved in care. And you know there is a closest there any way. But when it comes times to for that family member to maybe not be around or being unable to provide that level of care, you don’t want to just throw them in with someone who has no idea about their loved one who hasn’t been involved in guaranteed compatibility process with there with BrightStar. Now was we wrap up, I understand that you do specialize in-home care on a wide variety. But you also do facility staffing as well. How much training do you offer facilities to better their processes even though you may not have someone who’s going to be on staff there? Maybe they’re just looking for some training for their own staff, can Bright Star provide that for them?

S: That’s a great question. And we do, do that in many instances. Our dementia platform has been a great example of that. We offer staffing so it could be to a skilled nursing facility, in assistive living community, a hospice or a clinic. And often, they too are seeking folks with dementia that they’re caring for and when they learn that our BrightStar staff that we’re going to provide to them to fill a shift have been specially trained for example in dementia care.

N: Uh huh.

S: They love that and they have often asked us, “Well can you train our staff too?”

N: Great.

S: And so we can do that. I mean we have our proprietary programs so we wouldn’t exactly train them with the same materials. But we would use similar materials and certainly share the wealth of that information, yeah.

N: And where can our listeners get more information about BrightStar?

S: Absolutely, you can check us out of the internet at and you can find information about our company in general and about individual locations in your own backyard.

N: Thank you so much. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been in studio talking today with Sharon Roth Maguire Chief Clinical Quality Offer of BrightStar Care, about home dementia care and the transitional care. And how BrightStar Care has offered its extensive training and insight into dementia care as it relates to getting on a personal level with the client and not simply throwing them to someone who has no idea what their daily needs are. It’s been great having you here with us today Sharon.

S: Well thank you so much Neal. I’ve enjoyed it.

N: Thank you. Transcript and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

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