For Immediate Release
Alexandria, VA – June 14, 2013 – The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) applauds Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the release of the “National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease: 2013 Update.”
Initially released in 2012, the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s disease was originally mandated by the bipartisan National Alzheimer’s Project Act as passed by Congress in 2010 and signed by the President in January 2011. The National Plan will continue to be updated annually through recommendations from coalitions of stakeholders to the Napa Advisory Council. ALFA looks forward to continued constructive dialogue as we work cooperatively to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.
The 2013 updates contain many positive revisions to the National Plan. Chiefly among them is the creation of a timeline for achieving the primary goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. Milestones and benchmarks are an effective tool to accurately track our progression toward this overarching goal. ALFA is also supportive of provisions that enhance training to address the needs of individuals living in long term care settings; incorporate elder abuse awareness and disseminate information on abuse of people with dementia.
“ALFA is very supportive of the updates to the 2013 National Plan”, said ALFA President and CEO Rick Grimes. “As the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally-managed, resident-centered senior living communities, we are in a unique position to offer Secretary Sebelius and the NAPA Advisory Council insights on the tremendous care residents with dementia in our communities receive.”
In fact, according to the National Survey of Residential Care Communities the second most common chronic condition among residents in residential care communities is Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. “It is my hope that we can work together to identify areas of collaboration in future updates to the National Plan”, said Mr. Grimes.
Despite these promising early first steps, we have a long way to progress if we are to reach our goals. Funding for Alzheimer’s research is well below levels that most scientists and researchers agree it needs to be to truly have an impact within the timeframes set out in the National Plan. ALFA is urging Congress to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research. A good first step would be to adopt the additional $100 million contained within the President’s FY 2014 budget.
The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally-managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve. Since 1990, ALFA has advocated for choice, accessibility, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all seniors. ALFA’s programs promote business and operational excellence through education, research, publications, professional networking and online tools designed to foster innovation and entrepreneurism in the field of senior living. Visit ALFA’s Web site at www.alfa.org.
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