Latest PP&AR Looks at ADRD-Related Quality of Life

According to the most recent issue of Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR), titled “A World with Alzheimer’s Disease,” there is a large and growing gap between what can be done to help persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) and their caregivers and what is actually being done, and this gap only widens with the lack of public education, provider training, and implementation of proven care approaches.

“Policymakers must continue the vigorous expansion of the public infrastructure needed to educate and train care providers who can identify and refer persons who may be experiencing ADRD,” wrote PP&AR Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaskie, PhD, FGSA, and Mike Splaine in their introduction to the new issue. “Policymakers also must continue to expand their support for the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based therapies.”

Articles in this issue highlight contemporary efforts to address quality of life for persons with ADRD and their caregivers. Topics in the issue include: the role of protective services for persons with ADRD who are at increased risk for fraud; financing for evidence-based programs and services; efforts to link informal caregivers with healthcare providers; setbacks seen in national planning efforts during the pandemic; the recent FDA approval process of Aduhlem; efforts to establish the BOLD Act, a federally supported public health infrastructure dedicated to ADRD; and the role of the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care in its work to coordinate efforts across multiple and varied organizations.

While there is indeed a gap between what can be done and what is actually being done, innovative programs such as the new BOLD Public Health Centers of Excellence are making major contributions to filling this gap. Likewise, important resources such as GSA’s KAER Toolkit are available to support primary care providers in their frontline role of identifying individuals who may be experiencing cognitive decline. And the CDC’s Healthy Brain Initiative Roadmap series provides actionable steps to promote brain health, address cognitive impairment and attend to the needs of caregivers. Development of the next installment in this series of Roadmaps is now underway.

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