ODA announces plans for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Resource Program, including state’s first dementia caregiver center
Program in partnership with Ohio State College of Nursing, Ohio Department of Medicaid
The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) today unveiled plans for the Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Statewide Resource Program; a collaborative effort led by ODA, in partnership with The Ohio State University College of Nursing, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), and several other contributing organizations, including:
Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
MemoryLane Care Services
Ohio-based chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association
Ohio Council for Cognitive Health
Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University
Summit County Combined General Health District
The statewide initiative will use several approaches to build and develop a dementia-prepared caregiver workforce in Ohio. The program’s plans include providing an array of resources to paid and unpaid caregivers and industry professionals, including:
Training and education resources (in-person and online)
Statewide screening tools and risk assessment for use in clinical/health care and community-based settings
Creating toolkits to link individuals with appropriate community services
Developing a referral process/tool for individuals experiencing cognitive decline
Opening the state’s first Caregiver Center for Dementia Care at The Ohio State University College of Nursing to support services, research, education, and policy development
The new program will draw on the findings and recommendations of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Task Force, established in 2019 by Amended Senate Bill 24, sponsored by State Senators Kenny Yuko (Richmond Heights) and Steve Wilson (Maineville) of the 133rd General Assembly, and signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine. It will also follow recommendations included in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease (2022) and examine national trends in dementia care.
“By partnering with such a strong collective of organizations, this innovative program will provide a new level of coordination and sophistication in how we support individuals with Alzheimer's and other dementias, as well as their caregivers, in Ohio,” said Ursel J. McElroy, ODA Director and Chair of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Task Force. “We will provide critical resources and tools, develop a qualified and well-trained workforce, and ultimately improve the lives of older Ohioans and their families."
The program will first focus on developing and implementing the statewide screening tool and the referral process/tool. The goal is to have these in place by summer 2023.
The training curriculum for industry professionals, family caregivers, and the general public is expected to be available by October 2023.
The plan also calls for the opening of a statewide Caregiver Center for Dementia Care in central Ohio this year. The new center will have both an in-person and virtual presence, focused on developing and strengthening the knowledge, skills, and supports of family and professional caregivers. The center will also emphasize outreach to underserved populations and older Ohioans with the greatest economic or social need.
“We are grateful for a strong cadre of research and clinical practice faculty – with deep experience in gerontology, dementia assessment, and caregiving – who wake up every morning motivated to discover new avenues to help older adults living with dementia and to advocate for the caregivers who support them,” said Karen Rose, PhD, RN, vice dean and director of the Center for Healthy Aging, Self-Management and Complex Care at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. “This center is a dream that is coming to fruition, and not a moment too soon. It is so easy for caregivers to feel like they’re on an island, and they need and deserve all the support we can provide.”
ODA secured over $4 million in Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) funding through an interagency agreement with ODM, which helped support the development of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Statewide Resource Program.
“Ohio Department of Medicaid is excited to partner with the Ohio Department of Aging to improve both the family and professional caregiver workforce for dementia care in Ohio,” said Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran. “Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias impact so many Ohioans and their families. It is incredibly important to help support these caregivers and this project will allow us to do so much more to provide this needed support.”
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 220,000 older Ohioans live with Alzheimer’s disease, impacting one out of every nine Ohioans, and likely more due to under-detection.
About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.