A Renewed Focus on Dementia Care in Massachusetts
Healthcare groups around the state, including MHA, are redoubling their efforts to address dementia care.
Chapter 228 of the Acts of 2014 created a dementia care advisory committee to, among other things, “craft a strategy to address dementia-capable care in all acute care settings in the commonwealth.” Two MHA-nominated representatives served on that committee, which began meeting in December 2016. And MHA conducted a membership survey to help understand the specific type of dementia-related care provided within emergency departments and inpatient units.
Concurrently, the Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiative began to coalesce after a leadership summit in May 2016. The goal has been to create dementia friendly communities that engage all sectors of a community to create safe and respectful places for people living with dementia. Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiative is co-convened by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and Jewish Family & Children’s Service and is supported by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation. MHA has participated in stakeholder meetings of the group.
In addition, MHA has met with the Alzheimer’s Association to be introduced to its Dementia Care Coordination Program and to its array of resources available to care providers and to the public. In the coming months MHA will be convening its own work group to gather member expertise on the issue, develop best practices for hospitals to follow, and recommend strategies to implement the advisory committee recommendations.
“While the medical component of fighting Alzheimer’s and dementia continues, there’s another struggle occurring to ensure patients and their families are treated with dignity – not only within a hospital’s walls but throughout the care continuum and throughout the community,” said Pat Noga, R.N., FAAN, MHA’s VP of clinical affairs. “MHA is involved with the many committed organizations who are attempting to change the way we are collectively coping with a very challenging healthcare issue affecting more than 120,000 Massachusetts residents.”
- Now in its 11th year, National Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD has expanded their celebration to a week nationally. Suggestions for ways to implement NHDD activities in your community and at your facility are on the NHDD website. NHDD is an initiative of the The Conversation Project. T...» Full ArticleWe know at the Alzheimer’s Association MA-NH Chapter every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. With more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, it’s becoming harder to find someone who hasn’t been touched by this disease. Here in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, we have an estimated 144,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s and almos...» Full ArticleInterventions To Prevent Age-Related Cognitive Decline, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Clinical Alzheimer’s-Type Dementia - Executive Summary Key Messages: Most interventions showed no evidence of benefit to delay or prevent age-related cognitive decline, MCI, and/or CATD. Some forms of cognitive training improve the performance of the specific target of training for adults with no...» Full ArticleAs more individuals and organizations recognize the need to make our communities work better for the growing number of people living with Alzheimer’s or a related disorder, and their families and friends (“care partners”), it is helpful to define what it means to work toward becoming a “dementia-friendly” community. Read more... ...» Full ArticleThe Commonwealth’s Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Acute Care Advisory Committee (ARDAC) explored challenges and opportunities to provide optimal care for those with dementia who are in acute care settings. The committee presented options for hospitals to improve both the care and experience for patients and caregivers. Our goals are to: Identify and communicate the challenges and op...» Full Article2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures is a statistical resource for U.S. data related to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia. Background and context for interpretation of the data are contained in the overview. Additional sections address prevalence, mortality and morbidity, caregiving, and use and costs of health care, long-term care and hospice. The Special Report exa...» Full ArticleWhen facing Alzheimer's disease, there are a lot of things to consider. Alzheimer's Navigator helps guide Caregivers to answers by creating a personalized action plan and linking you to information, support and local resources A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease raises many questions. The Alzheimer's Navigator — a free online tool designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer's disease ...» Full ArticleALZConnected® , powered by the Alzheimer's Association®, is a free online community for everyone affected by Alzheimer's or another dementia, including: People with the disease Caregivers Family members Friends Individuals who have lost someone to Alzheimer's ...» Full ArticleThe Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter has an array of resources for families and individuals at each stage of Alzheimer's disease. These comprehensive guides allow families to address the specific issues they are currently experiencing. If you are not sure which guide is best for you, please call our 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900....» Full ArticleThe Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s (AFA) mission is to provide optimal care and services to individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses and to their families and caregivers. AFA was founded in 2002 by Bert E. Brodsky, whose mother lived with Alzheimer’s disease from 1980-1992. At that time, there was little information available and nowhere to turn for support...» Full ArticleMany resources from 2017 Action Communities Learning Summit can be found here....» Full ArticleThrough the work of over 35 national, leading organizations, the Dementia Friendly America initiative is catalyzing a movement to more effectively support and serve those across America who are living with dementia and their family and friend care partners. The lead organizations represent all sectors of community and are collectively leveraging their national reach to activate their local affili...» Full ArticleDementia Friendly Communities is a program which facilitates the creation of dementia-friendly communities across the UK. Everyone, from governments and health boards to the local corner shop and hairdresser, share part of the responsibility for ensuring that people with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community. Read more......» Full ArticleThe DAA is Where people come together to exchange ideas, form friendhsips and professional connections, and change lives to create a getter workd in which to live with dementia. Read more......» Full ArticleDementia Friendly Massachusetts is a grassroots movement to make communities safe, inclusive and respectful for persons with Alzheimer’s disease, or a related dementia. Dementia Friendly Massachusetts is a grassroots movement to make our state “dementia friendly." In dementia friendly communities, people with dementia feel safe and supported. There are many ways you can help. Read more.....» Full ArticleAn estimated 5.4 million people in the United States and more than 120,000 Massachusetts residents are living with dementia, which is a general term for changes in thinking such as memory loss and difficulty planning and communicating. Dementia may be caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions. Despite the widespread impact of dementia, lack of information, fear, and stigma can preven...» Full ArticleOn May 9, 2016, leaders from 84 organizations and companies from across Massachusetts met at Tufts Health Plan Foundation in Watertown to share ideas and learn from national leaders about pathways by which Massachusetts communities can become more “dementia friendly.” Key to this effort is recognizing and building upon work that is already underway, both existing dementia friendly initiatives ...» Full Article