Currently, an estimated 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is projected to reach nearly 14 million by mid-century.
New York, New York (PRWEB) July 23, 2014
In an effort to help advance the goals of the “National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease” at the state level, the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) this week released a white paper that examines the scope of the Alzheimer’s crisis, and the need for wide-scale implementation of state plans that address supportive services specific to those localities.
The white paper outlines recommendations for both new and existing state Alzheimer’s plans; best practices in implementation; and case studies from three states—Indiana, Minnesota and Rhode Island—that have successfully executed plans. Currently, an estimated 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is projected to reach nearly 14 million by mid-century.
The two national nonprofit organizations released the report entitled “From Plan to Practice: Implementing the National Alzheimer’s Plan in Your State” during Monday’s meeting of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research Care and Services. The council advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the development of the national plan and evaluates the plan’s effectiveness. The report follows a half-day webinar conference convened by both organizations late last year that drew over 250 participants from 39 states and the District of Columbia.
“The goal of this white paper is to propel this critical conversation forward among state and local policymakers and advocates,” said Gail Gibson Hunt, NAC’s President and CEO. “Family caregivers play a critical role in supporting families who have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. As the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s continues to grow, the time to build support systems for people and families is now.”
Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s CEO and a former New York State senator, said it is important for all states to develop plans because incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is pervasive. “Alzheimer’s disease does not discriminate,” he said. “Each and every day, I see the social and economic toll this disease takes on families from all backgrounds and all geographic areas. It is time for activists, legislators and caregivers to come together and make combatting this disease a priority.”
The report offers six key recommendations, applicable to both new and existing state plans:
•Establish and maintain a task force of Alzheimer’s disease stakeholders, including government officials, community groups, individuals with dementia, and family caregivers.
•Assess the ability of the state Alzheimer’s disease community to support diagnosed individuals and their families.
•Develop a state plan for Alzheimer’s disease that includes goals specific to the state population, and outlines measures to track progress.
•Keep stakeholders engaged in the design, implementation and evaluation of the plan.
•Recognize that state plans are “living documents,” and modify them, as appropriate, over time.
•Learn from the successes and challenges of other states and the national plan.
The report is made possible through the generous support of Forest Laboratories, Inc., Eli Lilly, Novartis, and the Alliance for Aging Research. It is available for download at http://www.caregiving.org/advocacy/napaplan.
About The National Alliance for Caregiving
Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving, is a nonprofit coalition of national organizations focused on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation and advocacy. Alliance members include grassroots organizations, professional associations, service organizations, disease-specific organizations, government agencies and corporations. The Alliance conducts research, does policy analysis, develops national best-practice programs, and works to increase public awareness of family caregiving issues. For more information about the Alliance, call 301-718-8444, visit
http://www.caregiving.org, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
About Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,700 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hot line, staffed by licensed clinical social workers; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training, along with teen- and college student-specific divisions. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit http://www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.