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Friday, December 28, 2012

United States Lags in Alzheimer’s Support



United States Lags in Alzheimer’s Support


This month, the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging released a report examining how five nations — the United States, Australia, France, Japan and Britain — are responding to growing numbers of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Every country has a strategy, but some are much further ahead than others. Notably, France began addressing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in 2001 and is in the midst of carrying out its third national plan. (Scroll down at this link to find the English version of the 2008-2012 French plan.)
By contrast, the United States released its first national plan to address Alzheimer’s in May.
The Senate report highlights several trends under way in all five countries, including efforts to coordinate research more effectively, diagnose Alzheimer’s disease more reliably and improve training in dementia care by medical practitioners.
Most relevant to readers of this blog is another trend with increasing international scope: an accelerating effort to keep patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia at home and arrange for care and treatment there, rather than in institutions.