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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2015
Contact: HHS Press Office
202-690-6343

White House Conference on Aging: Combating Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias

Announcing the release of the 2015 Update to the National Plan, HRSA Primary Care Curriculum, Brain Health Awareness Campaign, and a HIPAA Resource for Providers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today the release of the 2015 Update to the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, reflecting our nation’s progress toward accomplishing goals set in 2012 and current action steps to achieving them. The 2011 National Alzheimer’s Project Act calls for the Plan to be updated annually. The 2015 Update follows updates released in May 2012, June 2013, and the 2014 Update released in April 2014.

The 2015 Update was developed with input from experts in aging and Alzheimer’s disease from federal, state, private and non-profit organizations, as well as caregivers and people with the disease. The 2015 Update includes the following five goals: finding ways to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025; enhancing care for Alzheimer’s patients; expanding support for people with dementia and their families; improving public awareness; and carefully tracking data to support these efforts. The 2015 Update includes an overview of federal agency accomplishments in 2014, including specific information on completed and ongoing action steps.

To speed discovery of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, HHS’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed research agenda recommendations.  Resulting from the NIH-convened Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit 2015: Path to Treatment and Prevention held this past February, these recommendations, based on input from dementia experts from academia, industry and advocacy groups, provide a framework for a bold and transformative Alzheimer’s disease research agenda over the next few years that will help the research community meet the goals of the National Plan.

The HHS Health Resources and Services Administration announced that it will create an Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias training curriculum to build a health care workforce with the necessary skills to provide high quality dementia care and ensure timely and accurate detection and diagnosis of dementia.  The HHS Office of Women’s Health will develop related training to help family caregivers maximize their own health and address specific care needs of persons with dementia. The curriculum will be released next year.

The HHS Administration on Community Living is launching a $4 million Brain Health Awareness Campaign featuring Academy Award winning actress Marcia Gay Harden to help older adults better understand changes that occur in the brain as people age and reduce the fear of discussing concerns with family members and clinicians. In addition, the Dementia Friendly America Initiative announced plans to support dementia friendly communities across the country and to expand to 15 additional pilot sites across the country.  This work is based on a model implemented in Minnesota through which 34 communities across the state are actively working to increase dementia awareness and implement strategies to help support individuals in the community with dementia.

HHS also, in conjunction with OCR and the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services, released the Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias: HIPAA Resource List.  This resource list gives guidance to providers regarding consent, capacity, and decision making when treating individuals with dementia. Although the resource list does not specifically address dementia it does provide links to material that would be relevant to providers when helping individuals and their families.

For more information about the National Alzheimer’s Project Act and the 2015 Update to the National Plan, visit http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/napa/

Aging.gov is a new resource site launched today in conjunction with the White House Conference on Aging. For more information on resources and topics to help older adults live independent and fulfilling lives such as healthy aging, elder justice, long-term care, and vital programs like Social Security and Medicare visit http://www.aging.gov

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Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: July 13, 2015

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