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HHS Releases Updates, Revisions to National Alzheimer’s Plan
The Department of Health and Human Services has revised and expanded a host of goals and action steps in the new, 2014 update to its National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, including several measures of interest to senior living communities.
The new plan says the department seeks to enhance the ability of long-term care ombudsmen to support people with Alzheimer’s disease. Long-term care ombudsmen advocate for residents of assisted living communities and other places. (Long-Term Care Ombudsman Executive Director Becky Kurtz spoke at ALFA’s 2014 Public Policy Institute, explaining her office and relationship with senior living communities. See story here.)
The Administration for Community Living’s National Ombudsman Resource Center will train long-term care ombudsmen to become “Hand in Hand” trainers on caring for people with Alzheimer’s for training other direct care staff. This training exemplifies person-centered dementia care practices and includes a module on abuse, neglect and exploitation identification and prevention, according to HHS. The resource center plans to evaluate these trainings and their impact.
HHS also plans to work with states to help ensure that seniors with dementia and their caregivers have access to home and community-based systems that are dementia capable and sustainable. ACL plans to provide technical assistance to state grantees to help them develop methods for ensuring staff have appropriate training to provide “quality person-centered care.” A tool will be created to help states whether they are improving the dementia capability of their systems.
The latest report reiterates the need for expanding and promoting Alzheimer’s-related clinical trials and to push efforts to increase the number of health care professionals in the geriatrics field.
It also says HHS will convene a second international Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit in February 2015 and then the National Institute on Aging will release a report summarizing the summit’s recommendations and update the plan “as appropriate.”
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is expected to convene a second Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias Research Summit in 2016, which will be open to the public.
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