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District Releases First Alzheimer's State Plan

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

District Releases First Alzheimer's State Plan

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and ranked as the ninth leading cause of death in the District

(Washington, DC) – Today, the DC Office on Aging (DCOA) announced the release of the District’s first State Plan confronting Alzheimer’s disease.

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and according to the Alzheimer’s Association, 9 percent of seniors living in the District have the disease. This chronic illness not only impacts the lives of those with this disease, but has a profound effect on their families and social networks. For this reason, The District of Columbia State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease seeks to set measurable goals to help improve the lives of District residents living with this disease and reduce the burden on caregivers and their families.

“We developed this plan to ensure that all residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers receive the adequate support needed to reduce the burden that is often associated with this illness,” said BB Otero, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services.

The plan engages District government agencies, federal partners, the private sector, and non-profits to make Alzheimer’s disease a priority for the city. Additionally, the plan outlines several goals and inclusive strategies to enhance care and support for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s.  

These goals include:

  • Developing comprehensive research and data,
  • Enhancing quality care for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease,
  • Creating a robust public awareness campaign to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease throughout the District, and
  • Improving training and workforce development.

“We understand that Alzheimer’s disease is a complex issue that will take time and collaboration for various stakeholders to address this problem. With an increase in the number of Washingtonians living with the disease, there will also be an increase in family caregiving demands, both emotionally and financially. Therefore, we have created a five-year plan that includes various short- and long-term solutions that seek to enhance the lives of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their families,” said DC Office on Aging Executive Director Dr. John M. Thompson.

“The District of Columbia needs an ambitious plan to educate and support individuals with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them,” said Sally White, co-chair of the Senior Advisory Coalition and the executive director for IONA. “We look forward to working with the DC Office on Aging and others to meet the important goals set forth in the new State Plan.