National Alzheimer’s Plan Unveiled

As part of the government’s national plan, unrolled today, to fight Alzheimer’s, is a new Department of Health and Human Services caregiver website,

Along with information (legal, financial, medical), resources, strategies for dealing with daily challenges, and tools and links, the government website has a caregiver section with tips for caring for yourself as well as video conversations with caregivers.

This site stems from the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), which President Obama signed in January 2011. Many specifics of the plan, crafted with input from aging and Alzheimer’s experts, were unveiled today.

The collaborative approach to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s involves federal, state, private and non-profit groups. The national plan is geared to support research, and inform and educate clinicians, caregivers, and the public.

To further rev up results, the president’s proposed FY 2013 budget provides a $100 million increase for Alzheimer’s, including $10.5 million in caregiver support.

Currently, 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and the rate is rapidly rising as the country’s 78 million baby boomers age.

Besides the website, more highlights of the NAPA plan include:

  • The funding of two clinical trials by the National Institutes of Health that will use new technologies and approaches in clinical testing. The aim: to come up with novel ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s.
  • Monies through geriatric education centers to train healthcare providers to better recognize and manage Alzheimer’s.
  • A TV media campaign launching this summer to reach family members and anyone else who needs information on Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The caregiving component of the NAPA plan is further recognition that caregivers are also deeply impacted by the Alzheimer’s diagnosis and need support, too.

Have you cared for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia? Tell us your story in the comments section below.

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