AMDA Applauds New National Alzheimer’s Plan
Columbia, MD — AMDA – Dedicated to Long Term Care Medicine applauds a new National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, released earlier this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The document outlines how HHS plans to achieve the Administration’s goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. Recognizing and addressing Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as ensuring that people with this disease receive quality, personalized care that maximizes their safety and quality of life, have long been top priorities for AMDA.
Among the many strategies outlined in the report, HHS hopes to utilize the Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program (as mandated by the Affordable Care Act) to provide traineeships to support students pursuing advanced degrees in geriatric nursing, long term services and support, and gero-psychiatric nursing. In addition, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will continue to support training projects that provide fellowships for individuals studying to be geriatricians, geriatric dentists, or geriatric psychiatrists. These programs prepare professionals to address the needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease through service rotations in different care settings. HRSA also will continue to support the career development of geriatric specialists in academia through the Geriatric Academic Career Awards Program. Currently, 65 percent of these awardees provide interprofessional clinical training on Alzheimer’s disease.
Further, HHS hopes to strengthen the nursing home direct-care workforce through new training focused on high-quality, person-centered care for people with the disease. This program was established by Congress in the Affordable Care Act. The training, set for release this spring, will be available to all nursing homes to share with their staff and use with both new and established aides. To read the entire National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, visit http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/napa/NatlPlan.pdf
“Providing quality, compassionate, cutting-edge care for our elders with Alzheimer’s disease has long been a top priority for AMDA and its members,” said AMDA President Matthew Wayne, MD, CMD. He added, “We are committed to spreading the word about best practices in memory care and pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions that have proven effective for managing AD. Additionally, we are passionate about employing person-centered care to make sure our AD patients can enjoy the hobbies, foods, and activities they love, even as their illness progresses. And we promote the value of advance directives and family involvement to ensure that—even when they no longer can speak for themselves—they get the care they would want and have the best possible quality of life at all times. “
Just this year, AMDA revised its clinical practice guideline (CPG) on dementia to include the latest developments in AD diagnosis and treatment. As with all AMDA CPGs, the dementia guideline was developed by an interdisciplinary workgroup, using a consensus process and evidence-based medicine. AMDA also has a CPG on delirium and acute problematic behavior and a tool kit for implementation of the dementia CPG.
In a press release issued by HHS, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius lauded the Administration’s aggressive approach to treat Alzheimer’s. “These actions are the cornerstones of an historic effort to fight Alzheimer’s disease,” Secretary Sebelius said, adding, “This is a national plan—not a federal one— because reducing the burden of Alzheimer’s will require the active engagement of both the public and private sectors.” Dr. Wayne noted, “AMDA looks forward to working with HHS and our organizational, government, and industry partners across the country to fight Alzheimer’s disease. We are pleased and proud to be on the front line of this fight.”