Splaine Consulting May 2019 Newsletter

Splaine Consulting Highlights

Our team’s advocacy work, here & abroad

Splaine Consulting May 2019 Newsletter

Road Map for Indian Country Proposes Eight Strategies to Promote Wellness

A newly released document on dementia and caregiving—the Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) Road Map for Indian Country—is intended as a guide for the leaders of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) to start discussions throughout their communities.

Splaine Consulting is a contributor to the guide. Published under the auspices of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it highlights data from Indian Country that helps define the challenge of dementia across AI/AN communities.

Currently, an estimated 569,000 AI/ANs are aged 65 or older. That number is expected to triple over the next 30 years. Between 2014 and 2060, the number of AI/ANs in that age group living with dementia is projected to increase by five times.

The Road Map for Indian Country suggests eight strategies to promote wellness among elders, including those affected by dementia. The strategies encompass three key areas:

  • Educate and empower community members,
  • Collect and use data, and
  • Strengthen the workforce.

Read the full report and all eight strategies by downloading the PDF.

From left: John Shean, Alzheimer’s Association; Kelsey Donnellan, ASTHO; Lisa McGuire, PhD, CDC; Bill Benson, Health Benefits ABCs; and Mike Splaine, Splaine Consulting.

Mike Participates in Aging in America Panel to Discuss Road Map for Indian Country

Mike Splaine was part of a prestigious group that presented the Road Map for Indian Country at the 2019 Aging in America Conference, held April 15-18 in New Orleans.

In addition to Mike, this expert panel of presenters included William Benson, principal and managing partner, Health Benefits ABCs; Lisa McGuire, PhD, lead, Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program, CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; John Shean, associate director of Public Health, Alzheimer’s Association; and Kelsey Donnellan, senior analyst of health improvement for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO).

Read a summary of the Road Map for Indian Country and download the full report at the Alzheimer’s Association’s website.

Mike Quoted in Article on Dementia-Friendly Cities

Mike shared his expertise on the subject of dementia-friendly cities in an article that appeared on the CityLab website.

Entitled “Dementia-Friendly Cities Prepare for an Aging Populace,” the article addresses the need for communities to be more responsive to the needs of citizens who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

CityLab cites a statistic from Dementia Friendly America that there are about 250 dementia-friendly communities in 48 states. Examples include Middleton, Wisconsin, which has trained its employees to recognize the signs of cognitive impairment, and Montgomery County, Maryland, where police officers distribute ID bracelets to those
with dementia so that first responders can more quickly identify them and offer appropriate help.

While these efforts are encouraging, Mike points out that it’s difficult to gauge the effectiveness of the movement. “No one has found a metric, let alone the resources to measure it,” he told CityLab. The positive side is that these communities are raising public consciousness.

Read the full article at the link.

For Your Next Speaking Engagement…

Interested in having Mike or Kate as a speaker or presenter for your organization’s next advocacy training, conference, webinar or other educational opportunity? For more details, contact us today.

Alzheimer’s Around the World

The latest policy, advocacy & research events and news

WHO Issues New Alzheimer’s Guidelines

The World Health Organization this month issued new guidelines for reducing the risk of dementia: Get regular exercise, don’t smoke, avoid harmful use of alcohol, control weight, eat a healthy diet, and maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

“In the next 30 years, the number of people with dementia is expected to triple,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia. The scientific evidence gathered for these guidelines confirms what we have suspected for some time, that what is good for our heart is also good for our brain.”

The guidelines are expected to help health-care providers in advising patients on ways to try to prevent cognitive decline, and policymakers in developing strategies that encourage healthy lifestyles. The reduction of risk factors for dementia is one of several areas of action included in WHO’s global action plan for the public health response to dementia.

Home Alone Revisited Details the Complexity of Family Caregiving

Today’s family caregivers are providing intense and complex care, including medical/nursing tasks and managing multiple conditions that are often accompanied by pain.

This was the No. 1 finding detailed in Home Alone Revisited: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care, a newly released report from the founders of the Home Alone Alliance funded by the AARP Foundation and the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Home Alone Revisited affirms many of the findings from the 2012 AARP Home Alone study, which was the first national look at how families, neighbors and friends are managing such complex care tasks as administering multiple medications, changing dressings, handling medical equipment and providing other kinds of help that were formerly offered by trained professionals.

This latest study was undertaken to gain greater understanding of what these family caregivers are facing, with added emphasis on multicultural groups as well as taking a closer look at several difficult tasks, such as managing incontinence, pain and special diets.

Additional findings of the Home Alone Revisited study include:

  • Many family caregivers are on their own in learning how to perform many of these difficult medical/nursing tasks.
  • Most family caregivers who perform these tasks feel they have no choice.
  • Multicultural family caregivers are more likely to experience strain and worry about making a mistake, regardless of income.
  • Seven out of 10 family caregivers who perform these tasks are facing the practical and emotional burden of managing pain.
  • Social isolation compounds difficulties with complex care, across generations and cultural groups.

Among the study’s key recommendations are that health care and social service professionals need to do more in providing instruction and support to family members, recognizing them as valuable members of the health care team.

You can read other key findings and access the full report at the AARP website.

Robotics May Help Older Adults with Alzheimer’s

Robots serve all sorts of purposes currently, including helping with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. According to a recent article in The Bridge (“Designing Social Robots for Older Adults”), socially interactive robots—such as A1 technologies used in Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home Hub—can make older adults feel less isolated. Loneliness has been linked to the rapid onset of depression and early-stage dementia.

In studies cited in the article, older adults not only enjoyed their robotic interactions but also appreciated the health tips they learned from the robots. What’s more, older adults more than any other age group were more open to the interactions and help that the robots provided. As one participant said, “I loved that it reminded me to take my blood pressure every day. I never forgot my blood pressure a single day because Alexa told me.”

The older adults in the study also noted that the robots could help them adapt to aging in place and perceived the robots as being less biased and judgmental than a human counselor might be, for example.

The article appears in the Spring 2019 edition of The Bridge, which deals specifically with technologies for aging.

Registration is Open for Namaste Care Conference

Namaste Care International has begun early-bird bookings for this year’s conference, Sept. 27 in London. The conference is designed especially for care and nursing managers, CEOs, academics and decision-makers to provide them with the latest information, research and best practices in Namaste Care.

Namaste Care operates on the basic principles of creating a calm environment for those with advanced Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and providing all activities and interactions with an unhurried, loving touch.

The conference will be chaired by Professor Joyce Simard, a geriatric consultant who founded the Namaste Care program, and will feature speakers in the forefront of the worldwide Namaste Care movement.

For details about Namaste Care International and the Namaste Care program, visit namastecare.com.

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