Prioritize Long-Term Care Residents in the COVID-19 Response
Roughly half the residents of skilled nursing facilities and 40% residents of all long-term care communities are living with some form of dementia. Residents with dementia are uniquely susceptible to COVID-19 due to their cognitive difficulties, age, increased likelihood of coexisting chronic conditions and the communal nature of their living environment. The Alzheimer’s Association supports legislation that would address five immediate and long-term issues. All facilities must be required to test all residents and staff, necessitating the prioritization of testing supplies for long-term care facilities, and have the capability to ensure their communities remain free of infection. Any cases that do occur within these communities must be immediately and accurately reported and proper protocol must be followed to prevent further spread.
Reinstate Funding for Dementia Care Management
In 2019, the General Assembly approved funding to provide 100 families a year with dementia care management at the University of Virginia’s Memory and Aging Care Clinic. While this funding was removed in response to the pandemic, the need for appropriate care coordination has only been heightened. Care coordination can help increase the length of time that people living with dementia are able to remain in their homes and delay the need for residential long-term care. Coordinated care programs using trained Dementia Care Managers (DCMs) embedded in memory assessment clinics are needed for successful community-based dementia care. Streamlining dementia care using DCMs would realize significant cost savings, decrease health care utilization, and improve health outcomes. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on legislators to reinstate the dementia care management funding to support people with dementia.
Virginia State Plan Overview
The Virginia Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission serves as an advisory board within the executive branch and assists people living with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders as well as their caregivers and families. In 2009, the Commission began collecting public input to inform a state plan on Alzheimer's disease. Utilizing aging as well as stress and coping theory, in December 2011 the Commission published the Dementia State Plan: Virginia's Response to the Needs of Individuals with Dementia and their Caregivers. In 2015 an updated version of the plan, 2015-2019 Dementia State Plan: Virginia's Response to the Needs of Individuals with Dementia and their Caregivers, was published. In October 2019, the Commission published the Dementia State Plan: Building a Dementia-Capable Virginia (2020-2024).
Virginia State Advocacy Day
January 21, 2021
Join us in January for our Virtual Day on the Hill, turning Richmond Purple over the digital airwaves! The Virginia General Assembly may look different this year, but our determination to make a difference is the same. Register for more information and to join the fight to make Virginia a leader in programs for Alzheimer's and dementia families.