The Toolkit contains resources to help staff in senior living communities promote nonpharmacologic behavioral health strategies to address behavioral and psychological symptoms of distress (BPSD) that frequently occur in long-term care residential settings, especially among residents with dementia.

Urgent or Unresolved Behaviors

Practice-based suggestions for how to initially respond to behavioral and psychological symptoms of distress (BPSD). For example, apathy, aggressiveness and resistance to care.

Interdisciplinary Team Members

Description of the educational preparation and unique contributions to behavioral health that are provided by the different members of the healthcare team. How nursing homes can gain access to their services is also included.

Additional Resources

Additional training and clinical care tools, websites of interest, and literature about behavioral and psychological symptoms of distress.


This Toolkit was prepared for The Commonwealth Fund in collaboration with the The John A. Hartford Foundation. Ann Kolanowski, RN, Ph.D., and Kimberly Van Haitsma, Ph.D., served as the coordinators of the expert panel who compiled much of the information contained in the toolkit.