The Department of Health and Human Services has made updates to its National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease including its take on the vulnerability of older Americans who live in care facilities.
Due to the particular vulnerability of people with Alzheimer’s disease who live in care facilities, HHS stated, the department will increase its attention to this population via the studies currently available. This will include an “in-depth analysis” that has implications for those providing care in assisted living communities.
…”This will include an in-depth analysis of the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities to better understand the level of cognitive impairment among residents and the types of services provided in assisted living facilities,” HHS writes. “The results of these studies will be used to identify areas that the National Plan should address in future years.”
While reports of elder financial abuse are currently fielded by state Adult Protective Services, not all of these programs cover residents of long-term care communities, HHS says. State funding allows states to survey Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing facilities, while state licensing agencies may investigate other types of care communities, including assisted living.
The changes to the plan come as part of an effort to better protect those who are receiving long term care.
“Congress must see to it that the necessary resources are committed to accelerate and prioritize the government’s efforts on Alzheimer’s,” said Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association and member of the Advisory Council to the Plan. “Without these new resources, efforts in Alzheimer’s research, care and support will continue to be hampered to the determent of millions of families and the economic well-being of the nation.”
In the early iterations of the plan, assisted living was not included as a care setting, which prompted a campaign by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) to introduce it to the plan. ALFA submitted comments last year to HHS toward the initiative.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker