Health and Human Services today released the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease: 2013 Update, a follow-up to the initial plan released in May 2012. The update reflects our national progress towards accomplishing the goals set a year ago, as well as new and revised action steps.
The plan, ordered under the 2011 National Alzheimer's Project Act, includes: finding ways to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's disease by 2025; enhancing care for Alzheimer's patients; expanding support for people with dementia and their families; improving public awareness; carefully tracking data to support these efforts. The Plan was developed collaboratively by experts in aging and Alzheimer's disease from federal, state, private and non-profit organizations.
"Over the past year, the Plan has provided a framework for the progress made to relieve the burden of dementia on individuals, families, our health care system and our economy," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "Researchers are expanding their work on prevention and treatment and we are getting clinicians the tools they need to help people with the disease. By enhancing collaboration between the public and private sectors, the Plan is breaking down walls that have prevented the sharing of expertise, data and resources needed to combat the disease and provide the best care possible."
Highlights of over the past year include:
- National Institutes of Health, part of HHS, brought together international experts for the Alzheimer's Disease Research Summit 2012: Path to Treatment and Prevention, which developed important recommendations on how best to advance research.
- Multiple new Alzheimer's research projects were funded in 2012, including two major new clinical trials, genetics sequencing, and development of innovative new cellular models for Alzheimer's.
- The Health Resources and Services Administration issued grants that helped provide training to more than 10,000 health care providers on topics from dementia diagnosis to effective behavior management for people with dementia and their caregivers.
- HHS launched the widely praised website, www.alzheimers.gov to increase public awareness and connect people with a diagnosis and their caregivers with important resources. The site had more than 200,000 visits in the first ten months.
The update plan also identifies additional action steps that HHS and its partners will take. These include:
- A unified Alzheimer's disease training curriculum for primary care providers will be developed to help deliver high-quality dementia care. Researchers will investigate avoidable hospitalization and emergency department use among those with Alzheimer's disease and the best interventions for reducing them.
- Detection of elder abuse and neglect will be expanded through aging networks and program providers who work with the Alzheimer's population. Demonstration grants will be awarded to help promote legal services groups that assist families and communities impacted by Alzheimer's.
- An expanded Dementia Capability Toolkit will be developed for state and local health networks to better help them provide dementia services in their communities.
For more information about Alzheimer's disease, visit www.alzheimers.gov
To read the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease: 2013 Update, visit http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/napa/NatlPlan2013.shtml.