Public health departments can be resources for senior living communities to improve the lives of residents with dementia as well as the lives of staff members, according to the authors of the “Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map,” released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alzheimer’s Association.
“A quick and strategic collaboration between public health and public and private partners could prevent cognitive health and other issues of aging from consuming our healthcare system,” the report authors wrote.
The document contains an agenda of 25 actions that public health agencies and their partners can pursue over the next five years to address cognitive health and to meet the needs of professional and family caregivers. Five overarching issues covered are risk identification and risk reduction, diagnosis, education and training, caregivers, and evidence on effect of the disease.
“Senior living communities can partner with their local public health departments to provide opportunities to residents to reduce risk for cognitive decline and dementia and promote healthy lifestyles,” Alzheimer’s Association Director of Public Health Molly French told McKnight’s Senior Living. “The Road Map also reinforces the importance of a dementia-capable workforce across healthcare and community living settings. Experts agree a dementia capable workforce improves quality of life, manages costs and enhances individual and family satisfaction.”
The publication is the third of its kind. Previous editions were published in 2007 and 2013. The next one will be published in about five years.