Would help further efforts already underway in Massachusetts to improve care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease
Washington (January 26, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services encouraging it to examine ways to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of care provided to individuals with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias in acute care settings like hospitals. In a story titled, “Dementia patients often need hospitals, which are often ill-prepared” (January 2, 2018), The Boston Globe reported on the challenges faced by individuals with Alzheimer’s and their families in hospitals. The acute care system is not often an ideal place for individuals with Alzheimer’s, as the loud noises and fast-paced environment may disorient and place additional stress on Alzheimer’s patients, which may even worsen their condition.
“With more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease – a number that is expected to triple in the coming decades – it is imperative that these individuals and their families receive proper treatment throughout the continuum of care,” writes Senator Markey in his letter. “Given the challenges that persons with dementia and their families face in acute care settings, I encourage the Advisory Council to convene an Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Acute Care Expert Panel.”
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can he found HERE.
Massachusetts is the only state that has created a committee through legislation to study dementia-capable care and develop recommendations for hospitals. The Massachusetts committee proposed that the top three recommendations included in their report, which was released last year, become standard of care in Massachusetts hospitals. Senator Markey’s letter encourages the Alzheimer’s Advisory Council to evaluate this issue and develop recommendations at a national level.
The Alzheimer’s Advisory Council, which was established as part of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, the law Senator Markey passed as a member of the House of Representatives, is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation within the Department of Health and Human Services and meets quarterly to discuss issues and programs that impact individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.