Eliminating Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide enhanced care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

1. Address the impact of COVID-19 on long term care

The Alzheimer’s Association supports legislation to ensure residents of Long Term Care (LTC) facilities are supported during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents with dementia are uniquely susceptible to COVID-19 due to their cognitive difficulties, age, increased likelihood of coexisting chronic conditions and the communal nature of their living environment. Facilities must continue to test all residents and staff. Cases that do occur must be reported and be readily accessible by the public. They must establish protocols in case of outbreaks with surge activation plans in place. LTC facilities must be supported in caring for their residents and staff by ensuring priority access to PPE, requiring the dissemination of dementia care standards to help provisional staff deliver person-centered dementia care and requiring measures to address social isolation and ensure communication between residents and family. Residents and staff must be given priority access to approved vaccines.goes but we wish him the best of luck,” said Coach Vossler of Leigh.

2. Develop and fund dementia case management

In 2019, the General Assembly approved funding to provide 100 families a year with dementia care management at the University of Virginia’s Memory and Aging Care Clinic (UVA MACC). This funding was removed in response to the pandemic. The pandemic heightens the need for appropriate care coordination, which can help increase the length of time that people living with dementia are able to remain in their homes and delay the need for facility-based long-term care. Additionally, studies have found that primary care providers are ill-equipped to provide comprehensive management or care coordination for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Coordinated care programs using trained Dementia Care Managers (DCMs) embedded in memory assessment clinics are needed for successful community-based dementia care. Streamlining dementia care using DCMs would realize significant cost savings, decrease health care utilization, and improve health outcomes. Federal grant funding for dementia care consultation at UVA MACC and Riverside’s Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH) will end in 2021, and many areas of the state have little or no access to such care coordination programs. Virginia needs to continue interdisciplinary plans of care and dementia care management for individuals diagnosed with dementia at the existing sites with a vision to grow the program statewide.

2. Maintain the public health approach to alzheimer’s disease and dementia

The Alzheimer’s Association supports action to address the burden of cognitive decline and dementia in Virginia. This can be achieved by fully implementing the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure Act.Legislation passed in 2020 gave lead responsibility to the VDH to educate and inform the public about dementia, to support the early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD), to reduce the risk of hospitalization for people living with ADRD, to reduce the risks of developing cognitive decline and ADRD, and to support care planning and management for people living with ADRD.The impact of COVID-19 on longterm care communities highlights the need to support people living with ADRD to remain in the community and to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations and subsequent stays in long-term care facilities. Support this public health approach to address the needs of people living with cognitive decline and dementia in the Commonwealth.

For more information, please contact Karen Garner, advocacy manager for Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., at 757.810.2947 or khgarner@alz.org

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