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July 3, 2014
News from the Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Government Study Highlights Aging Boomers' Impact on Nation

Chronic Diseases, Long-Term Care Costs on the Rise

A new government report that examines the economic and social effects of America's aging population on our nation has found an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases and a general unpreparedness to afford the costs of nursing home care among older adults.

 

It found that the incidence of chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic lung disease, and diabetes, increased in the last decade, with 51 percent of older adults having one or two conditions and 41 percent, three or more. There was also a rise in the prevalence of older adults who are overweight or obese.

 

On the long-term care front, the report notes that, with the average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home at $83,585 in 2010, less than one-fifth of older people have the personal financial resources to live in a nursing home for more than three years and almost two-thirds cannot afford even one year.

 

Currently, there are more than 40 million people are 65 and older in the U.S., and that number is expected to more than double by 2050. The report was funded by the National Institute on Aging, and was based on reports from the U.S. Census Bureau and other agencies.

 

 

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Report Highlights Need to Improve Long-Term Dementia Care

Policy Options Recommended to Foster Change

 

A new report from the RAND Corporation underscores the need for improving long-term care services and supports (LTSS) for individuals with dementia and identifies policy options that, if addressed, could bring about such change.

 

Among the objectives are: increase public awareness of dementia to reduce stigma and promote earlier detection of signs and stigmas, including encouraging providers' use of cognitive assessment tools for early dementia detection and recognition;  improve access to and utilization of LTSS for persons with dementia,; promote high-quality person- and family caregiver-centered care, including disseminating new and existing dementia best practices and training programs for professional and paraprofessional care workers; provide better support for family caregivers of people with dementia; and reduce the burden of dementia LTSS costs on individuals and families.

 

The blueprint is designed to address a gap by considering both LTSS and dementia policy challenges together. The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) was one of the stakeholders interviewed for the report.

 

News to Use

Twitter Chat to Highlight Alzheimer's Prevention Research and Clinical Trials

AFA will hold its monthly Twitter chat, July 8, from 1-2 p.m. EDT. Jessica Langbaum, Ph.D., principal scientist at Banner Alzheimer's Institute and associate director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative, will be the guest expert. Follow @alzfdn and @AlzRegistry on Twitter and use #AFAExpertChat to join the conversation. #AFAExpertChat is held the second Tuesday of each month, from 1-2 p.m. EDT.

 

New Website Offers Strategies to Help People Age in Place

The Administration for Community Living recently unveiled a new website, that highlights the goals and accomplishments of test programs to help older adults age in place, as a model for other communities to follow. It is an outgrowth of the Community Innovations for Aging in Place (CIAIP) initiative, a government program that provided grants to 14 organizations to test strategies for successful age in place programs. 

 

Care Connection Teleconference: July 10

The next Care Connection-AFA's monthly teleconference for family and professional caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses-is taking place July 10, from 1-2 p.m. EDT. Dory Sabata, O.T.D., O.T.R./L.S.C.E.M., clinical assistant professor, Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., will discuss how to perform a home assessment to ensure the safety of people with dementia. To join, call toll-free: 877-594-8353 and use guest identification number: 46692951#.

News Updates

Life-Long Learning May Stave Off Cognitive Decline

A lifetime of learning and mental stimulation-including games, music, reading and crafts-may be linked to higher levels of cognition later in life, according to a new study. Researchers studied the effect of lifetime intellectual enrichment on nearly 2,000 individuals who were either cognitively normal or had mild cognitive impairment. They found that higher education/occupation scores, and higher levels of mid to late-life cognitive activity were associated with higher levels of cognition. Read more...

  

Traumatic Brain Injury in Veterans May Increase Risk of Dementia

A recent study suggests that older veterans who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a concussion or skull fracture, are 60 percent more likely to later develop dementia than veterans who have not. The study also found that veterans with a history of TBI developed dementia about two years earlier than those without TBI who had developed dementia. The study examined medical records of more than 188,000 U.S. veterans ages 55 and older, 1,229 of whom had been diagnosed with TBI, who had undergone a medical evaluation between 2000 and 2003 and did not have dementia at the time. The veterans all visited the doctor again at least once between 2003 and 2012, during which time  16 percent of those with a history of TBI developed dementia, compared to 10 percent of the veterans without TBI. Read more...

Member Spotlight

Alzheimer's Community Care

West Palm Beach, Fla.


Wedding bells were ringing last week at Alzheimer's Community Care when the agency held a vow renewal ceremony for clients Gussie and Alban Roach. Married on December 29, 1958, the Roaches never had a real wedding ceremony. Program manager Kathryn Hosaflook thought it was about time they had one!

 

About 30 of the Roaches' family and friends attended the ceremony, which was officiated by Pastor Bailey of Nativity Lutheran Church.

 

 



Fundraiser Spotlight

Shane Bonner

Hoffman Estates, Ill.

 

At an age when most teens are thinking about hanging out poolside for the summer, Shane Bonner is transforming his passion for baseball into an opportunity to give back in recognition of turning 13 this August.

 

For his Mitzvah community service project, Bonner, who has been playing baseball since he was four, is organizing "Strike Out Alzheimer's," a four-team baseball tournament to benefit AFA on August 8. Bonner chose AFA because his 72-year-old grandmother, Sharon Mehr has been living with Alzheimer's disease for the past 15 years.

 

Bonner approached his town's park district, which donated the fields for the tournament. He's now in the process of asking local businesses to donate trophies, t-shirts and sports equipment "so more of the money raised can go back to AFA," he said. Click here for more information or to contribute.

 


Upcoming Events
5 Boroughs Concepts in Care
September 12, New York City
AFA's third "5 Boroughs Concepts in Care" conference will be held at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York City. 

 

This free, educational conference offers separate tracks of study for family caregivers, healthcare professionals and individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Free respite care will be available on-site. 

 

For information about sponsorships or exhibiting, contact Josie DiChiara at 866-232-8484 x112. 


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