Statewide plan to address dementia to be released March 8th

RALEIGH, NC (March 8, 2016) 1-2:30 pm

What: North Carolina Institute of Medicine and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to present recommendations of the Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias to the North Carolina General Assembly.

Where: Legislative Office Building, 300 West Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC. Room 643

Featuring:
Caregivers: Dr. Linnea Smith will discuss caring for her husband, the late Dean Smith, during his struggle with dementia. Ms. Nacy Washington, who cared for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease for 14 years before her death in 2003, will speak about her experience.

Opening remarks will be provided by Dr. Goldie Byrd, NC A&T State University; Doug Dickerson, AARP NC; and Lisa Gwyther, Duke University Medical Center.
Closing remarks will be provided by Deputy Secretary Sherry Bradsher (Department of Health and Human Services) and Representative Marilyn Avila (R-District 40).

Adam Zolotor, MD, DrPH, President and Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, will present the recommendations of the Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.
To better prepare the state to meet the needs of Alzheimer’s patients and those who support their care, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM), in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division on Aging and Adult Services, AARP North Carolina, Alzheimer’s NC, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Duke Endowment, the Winston-Salem Foundation, and LeadingAge NC, will release the recommendations of the multi-stakeholder Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. Through a mandate from the North Carolina General Assembly, the Task Force was charged with developing an actionable, strategic plan for the state of North Carolina and producing recommendations in 16 areas related to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Adam Zolotor, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine stated, “not only do we have more older adults with Alzheimer’s than ever before, but over the next 15 years, we will have fewer people age 45-64 to care for them. The recommendations in this report call for incremental investments in respite care, home and community services, and Medicaid waiver programs that will support caregivers, delay institutionalization, and decrease state Medicaid costs over time.”

In North Carolina, over 160,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a number projected to increase to more than 270,000 by 2030. Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth leading cause of death in North Carolina. Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias also have a significant impact on caregivers in North Carolina. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 448,000 North Carolinians provided $6.2 billion in unpaid care for loved ones with dementia in 2014 at great cost to physical, mental, and financial health. Dr. Linnea Smith, wife of the late Dean Smith, said, “When my husband was sick, I had so much difficulty finding help, and the right kind of help. The recommendations from this report will go a long way towards helping organize the available resources so that caregivers can find them. A resource toolkit, a single point of entry [211 system], and specialized care management to help families navigate and plan will all ease the burden on families.”

The Task Force was chaired by Goldie S. Byrd, PhD, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, North Carolina A&T State University; Doug Dickerson, MBA, State Director, AARP NC; and Lisa Gwyther, MSW, CSW, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University Medical Center. The Task Force and steering committee was comprised of 50 members, including caregivers, health care providers, academics, advocates, industry representatives and philanthropic partners.
Co-chair Doug Dickerson of AARP NC says, “When it comes to meeting the needs of those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, the pathway to success starts with a solid plan. Proper care and support requires a system-wide approach. The Task Force recognizes that North Carolina health care providers, civic leaders, policymakers, advocates, social service agencies, and others must work in partnership to create an environment that helps improve both quality of care and quality of life for the people impacted by Alzheimer’s and related dementia.”
The full report of the Task Force will be available online on Tuesday, March 8, at www.nciom.org