The National Research Summit on Care, Services and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers

The National Research Summit on Care, Services and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers is a two-day meeting of researchers, service providers, persons with dementia, family caregivers, and other stakeholder groups.

It will be held October 16-17, 2017, at the Natcher Building’s Ruth L. Kirschstein Auditorium of the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research (NIA/DBSR) would like to encourage you to attend this Research Summit. The meeting is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health through private sector support.

In-person registration is now full. The wait list also has reached its capacity. If you would still like to participate in this meeting, you may register for the videocast option.  By registering, you will receive an email with videocast details approximately one week before the Summit. You can register here.

The Summit is intended to identify what we know now and what we still need to learn in order to accelerate the development, evaluation, translation, implementation, and scaling up of comprehensive care, services, and supports for persons with dementia, families, and other caregivers. The Summit is focused on research that is needed to improve quality of person-and family-centered care and outcomes across care settings, including quality of life and the lived experience of persons with dementia and their caregivers.

 

CDC Public Health Grand Rounds — “Healthy Aging: Promoting Well-being in Older Adults,” on Tuesday, September 19, at 1:00 p.m. (ET).

Please plan to attend the September session of CDC Public Health Grand Rounds, “Healthy Aging: Promoting Well-being in Older Adults,” on Tuesday, September 19, at 1:00 p.m. (ET). The session also may be viewed via live webcast. Open captions are provided.

Hear experts discuss the impact the aging population will have on their caregivers, the public health system, and the aging themselves. Learn how older people can maintain their health and independence. Hear what CDC and public health officials are doing and what needs to be done.

Americans are Living Longer and in Greater Numbers

The population of older Americans is growing and living longer than ever. As a group, they are living active lives and contributing to the economy. The added years to the lifespans have resulted in a longer middle age—extending the period when workers are at their most productive and creative.

  • 10,000 people a day are turning 65
  • 80 percent of people age 50 and older plan to work past 65
  • People over 50 in the United States contribute $7.6 trillion to the economy annually

Aging Brings Challenges

Aging brings an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and dementia. For example, Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, is the fifth leading cause of death among older Americans. Older adults also face more challenges with everyday living activities.

  • 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition
  • 1 in 3 older adults have limitations in activities such as preparing meals and housekeeping

The Challenges of Caregiving and Caregivers

Birth rates are declining, posing a potential shortfall of caregivers, and that trend will continue. Caregivers themselves are at risk for health problems. Trends show they will be working longer hours and caring for people with more than one chronic disease.

Dementia Friendly Village Model

Need inspiration for how other communities have tried to improve the well-being and socialization of persons with dementia.  This article in The Atlantic from 2014 about the “dementia village” in Hogeway, The Netherlands, is one prototype.  If an entire village designed for the needs of persons with dementia is not likely in your community, what elements can be used to make your community more “dementia friendly?”

“The environmental approaches to reducing both cognitive and behavioral problems associated with dementia are really the key to improving quality of life for these patients without excess medication.”

Dr. Paul Newhouse, Director of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Cognitive Medicine.

 

KAER Toolkit — Detecting Cognitive Impairment

The Gerontological Society of America recently released a new resource — KAER Toolkit: 4-Step Process to Detecting Cognitive Impairment and Earlier Diagnosis of Dementia.

The goal of the model is to help primary care providers achieve greater awareness of cognition in older adults, increase detection of cognitive impairment, earlier diagnostic evaluation and referrals for education and supportive community services for persons with dementia and their family caregivers.

Dementia Specific Care Coordination Models

Are there any examples of dementia-specific care coordination models, particularly models that help individuals navigate health care and community resources?

Minnesota

Minnesota offers dementia care best practice training for care coordinators and has created a practice tool for care coordinators along with a training description and video tutorials.

Care Coordination Practice Tool

Training description

Video tutorials – scroll to bottom of the page

National

A report on care coordination for people with dementia and family caregivers also has been released.

 

Home safety checklist for a person with Alzheimer’s

Help make home safer for a person with Alzheimer’s disease with a room-by-room checklist to alert you to potential hazards and help you record any changes you need to make.

Keep in mind that it may not be necessary to make all the suggested changes and that you will need to re-evaluate home safety periodically as behavior and abilities change.

Use this checklist to look for hazards in the following locations:

  • Entryway
  • Kitchen
  • Bedroom
  • Bathroom
  • Living room
  • Laundry room
  • Garage/shed/basement

Find the checklist on the ADEAR website and share this information with others

Tips for dealing with forgetfulness

People experiencing forgetfulness can use a variety of techniques that may help them stay healthy and deal with changes in their memory and mental skills.

Here are some things to try:

  • Learn a new skill.
  • Stay involved in activities that can help both the mind and body.
  • Volunteer in your community, at a school, or at your place of worship.
  • Spend time with friends and family.
  • Use memory tools such as big calendars, to-do lists, and notes to yourself.
  • Put your wallet or purse, keys, and glasses in the same place each day.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol.
  • Get help if you feel depressed for weeks at a time.

Visit the ADEAR website to get more tips and learn about what to do if you start noticing memory problems.