Progress Being Made on Goals of National Alzheimer's Plan
This plan was the outgrowth of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which was a bipartisan measure that was signed into law on January 4, 2011. The law establishes the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services and also requires the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with the Advisory Committee to create and maintain a national plan to overcome Alzheimer’s disease.
For goal 3 which is focused on expanding support for people who have Alzheimer’s disease and their families, the following progress has been made:
- Best practices for caregiver assessment and referral through the long-term services and supports systems were identified and disseminated through the Selected Caregiver Assessment Measures (2nd Edition): A Resource Inventory for Practitioners.
- The review of the state of the art of evidence-based non-pharmacological treatments and care practices that can be delivered by community-based organizations to people with dementia and their caregivers was completed.
- Lessons learned have been shared through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs caregiver support strategies with federal partners.
- A webinar was conducted to highlight the availability of resources to support caregivers in crisis and disaster situations.
- A new action was added to provide education about respite care for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
- A new action was created to collaborate to share information on long-term services and supports with Tribal providers.
- A new action was created to share information on caregiver support services between the Aging Network and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- A new action was created to pilot evidence-based interventions for caregivers in Indian Country.
- Long-term care awareness efforts were expanded through the creation of a website, http://www.longtermcare.gov.
- A series of webinars were designed to educate legal professionals about working with people with Alzheimer’s disease.
- A new action was created to enhance training to address the needs of individuals living in long-term care settings.
- A new action was created to incorporate elder abuse awareness into aging network activities.
- A new action was created to translate and disseminate information on abuse of people who have dementia.
- A new action was created to improve the ability of legal services to address the needs of people who have Alzheimer’s disease.
- A new action was created to improve the ability of Alzheimer’s disease information and referral systems to identify abuse or neglect.
- A new action was created to educate fiduciaries about managing the finances of people who have Alzheimer’s disease.
Several actions were reported for goal 4, which is designed to enhance public awareness and engagement. These actions include:
- A new action was created to enhance public outreach about Alzheimer’s disease.
- Leaders from state, Tribal and local governments were convened to discuss how to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.
- A new action was created to build upon lessons learned to improve the dementia-capability of state and local service systems.
- A new action was created to get Tribal input on Alzheimer’s disease.
The report also identifies several actions that were undertaken for Goal 5, which is designed to improve data that is collected in order to track progress. The progress reported included:
- Partner agencies met to identify major policy research data needs since understanding the health care utilization patterns of people who have Alzheimer’s disease represent a major gap in knowledge.
- A new action was created to have the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention summarize data on cognitive impairment across states, which will then be linked to other information about preventive health practices, risk behaviors and chronic disease.
- A new action was created that requires HHS to develop and disseminate survey questions in order to track awareness and perceptions of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
- HHS has designated the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation as being responsible for overseeing implementation, reporting on progress, convening the Advisory Council and issuing reports to Congress.
Primary Source for This Sharepost:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2013). National plan to address Alzheimer’s disease: 2013 update.