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Suggested Platform Planks

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Recommendations for Rhode Island from the Alzheimer’s Association

Source: http://act.alz.org/site/DocServer/CAREGIVERS.pdf?docID=4644

  • Encourage the development of social media networks as resources for caregivers.
  • Build upon existing caregiver newsletters to pool resources and extend outreach to caregivers interested in learning about Rhode Island-specific services and supports.
  • Formalize a peer mentor network to connect families and caregivers that are new to the disease with those who have more experience.
  • Partner with geriatric mental and behavioral health experts to provide services for caregivers who screen positive for depression, anxiety, and burnout – and develop the capacity to offer education and consultation to community providers who work with families and caregivers.
  • Support and build upon ongoing public outreach efforts through the Providence Catholic Diocese, the Division of Elderly Affairs, and the Rhode Island Alzheimer’s Disease website to increase public awareness of the CareBreaks program (respite services), with a goal of improving the rate of utilization of respite care among family caregivers.
  • Encourage the development of a comprehensive network of respite options across the state, including short- and mid-term respite care.
  • Explore potential to incorporate mid- to long-term in-home respite services into the overall network of options.
  • Survey national models akin to the Shared Living program that address the prohibition on spouses, parents, or other persons financially responsible for the care recipient from serving as the paid caregiver.
  • Enhance provision of respite care services to include emergency or short-term immediate access, including by exploring the possibility of (1) shortening the average required stay at nursing homes for emergency or short-term respite; (2) simplifying the application process for nursing home respite care; and (3) alternative providers of care who could be more readily available to step into a respite need on an immediate basis.
  • Seek to develop long-term respite care services modeled around best practices for people with Alzheimer’s disease, including keeping the person at home and developing long-term relationships.
  • Expand respite care worker education and training opportunities across the state.
  • Establish ongoing links with Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and provide educational and informational resources on support for families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Strengthen existing EAP resources for Alzheimer’s at large companies currently offering EAPs to employees; include outreach about the State Plan for Alzheimer’s disease and awareness of the Rhode Island Alzheimer’s Disease website.
  • Work to ensure that all EAPs receive information about referral resources for employees requiring more intensive or long-term mental health services, such as geriatric mental health programs that include services for caregivers.
  • Enhance awareness of the Rhode Island State EAP and make efforts to improve outreach to employees dealing with Alzheimer’s disease caregiving responsibilities.

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