Protect Residents In Long Term Care Settings By Mitigating Risk of COVID-19 and Addressing Social Isolation
The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and is creating pressing challenges for long-term care (LTC) communities and residents, where people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias represent a large proportion of LTC residents. There are also growing concerns that social isolation among people with dementia has contributed to individual decline and stress among family caregivers who cannot assess the health of their loved ones. To best support individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia during the pandemic, the Alzheimer’s Association has released a comprehensive set of long-term care policy recommendations for lawmakers focused on testing, reporting, surge activation, and providing support. The Alzheimer’s Association will continue to urge state policymakers to prioritize long-term care in the COVID-19 response.
Driving Public Awareness of Risk Reduction and Early Detection
Early detection of Alzheimer’s allows for the best opportunity to receive necessary medical care, enhance health outcomes, plan for future needs, and secure medical desires and wishes. Individuals and their caregivers also have greater access to available treatments and support services, as well as the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials. With a growing population of 65+ Delawareans, and age being the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer's and other dementia, there is a significant need to increase public awareness and understanding of cognitive decline as part of health promotion. The Alzheimer’s Association supports an appropriation by the Delaware legislature that will establish an Alzheimer’s and dementia public health campaign in partnership with community groups and consistent with the Delaware State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders.
Equip Delaware With a Dementia-Capable Workforce
Individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementia have unique needs that often make care delivery, communication and interaction more challenging and demanding. Without comprehensive dementia-specific education, people with dementia are at risk for poor care or a hostile encounter with first responders. The Alzheimer’s Association will advocate for legislative and regulatory changes that enhance competency-based dementia training requirements for direct care workers in all settings. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association supports forthcoming legislation that will require dementia-specific training for law enforcement and first responders to educate these professionals on understanding specific behavior symptoms, effective communication strategies, protocols for contacting caregivers and available local resources.
Delaware State Plan Overview
In early 2012 the Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter coordinated a meeting with Governor Jack Markell, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services Rita Landgraf, and Director of the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) Bill Love. During the meeting, there was a consensus about the importance of mapping out a strategy to address Alzheimer's disease in Delaware, and a decision was made to begin working on the development of an Alzheimer's state plan. The Alzheimer's Association and DSAAPD established a Task Force, comprised of caregivers, advocates, and professionals representing a broad range of organizations. With support from DSAAPD staff, the Task Force published the Delaware State Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders in December 2013. Since the release of the Delaware State Plan, an Advisory Committee made up of a variety of stakeholders from the Alzheimer’s community, has been meeting to oversee the Plan’s implementation.
Delaware State Advocacy Day
May 13, 2021
Help bring awareness of the impact Alzheimer’s and dementia has on thousands of Delawareans to the Delaware General Assembly! The Delaware Advocacy Day is an opportunity to meet with your state legislators, share your story and advocate for statewide policy change to improve the care, support and services for those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia and the people caring for them. By lending your VOICE, you can make a difference in influencing change for Delaware’s Alzheimer’s and dementia population.