Newswise — ATLANTA — (June 19, 2013) — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today released the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease: 2013 Update, a follow-up to the initial plan released in May 2012. The update reflects progress made towards goals set a year ago, as well as new and revised action steps. While the title specifically refers to Alzheimer’s disease, both the legislation requiring the plan and the plan itself are inclusive of related dementias, including LBD, frontotemporal, mixed and vascular dementia.
The plan, ordered under the 2011 National Alzheimer’s Project Act, includes: finding ways to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025; enhancing care for Alzheimer’s patients; expanding support for people with dementia and their families; improving public awareness; and carefully tracking data to support these efforts. The Plan was developed collaboratively by experts in aging and Alzheimer’s disease from federal, state, private and non-profit organizations.
The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) applauds the progress being made on the National Alzheimer’s Plan. The 2013 plan highlights ongoing or planned activities of governmental agencies and collaborating organizations to address the enormity of the problem caused by dementia. Highlights of some of the past year’s accomplishments include the following:
• creation of a comprehensive web-based portal of Alzheimer’s research portfolios in the United States and abroad;
• strengthening of the direct care workforce’s ability to provide high quality person-centered care, by distributing training videos to every nursing home in the country;
• delivering programs to educate aging and legal professionals about dementia and public resources available;
• launching public awareness initiatives about Alzheimer’s disease and an educational website for the general public on Alzheimer’s disease;
• identifying and disseminating best practices for caregiver assessment and referral through the long-term services and supports system;
A significant step forward for Lewy body dementias (LBD) came in the form of a scientific conference in March of 2013, to solicit input on special research priorities and timelines for addressing dementias related to Alzheimer’s disease. LBDA advocates were on hand to provide their experiences with LBD, as well as input on recommendations for research.
The 2013 plan also includes new strategies, such as creating a timeline to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025, developing a unified curriculum for primary care physicians on Alzheimer’s disease, identify and review measures on high quality dementia care, convening an expert panel on advanced dementia, and efforts to understand and reduce avoidable hospitalizations in dementia.
“While this plan makes significant inroads in strategy, collaboration and coordination of federal resources,” says Angela Taylor, Director of Programs LBDA, “without a staunch commitment of funding from Congress, dementia will remain the most expensive malady in the country, costing families and society $157 billion to $215 billion a year in the United States alone. Congress must set its sights on dementia now, much like it did with HIV/AIDS 20 years ago.”
To read the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease: 2013 Update, visit http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/napa/NatlPlan2013.shtml
The Lewy Body Dementia Association
The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the Lewy body dementias (LBD), supporting patients, their families and caregivers, and promoting scientific advances. Through outreach, education and research, LBDA supports those affected by Lewy body dementias. To learn more about LBD and LBDA please visit www.lbda.org.
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