State officials want to make it easier for people living with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them. Nearly 25,000 Rhode Islanders suffer from the disease, and an estimated 60,000 are their unpaid caregivers.
A work group spearheaded by Lt Gov Elizabeth Roberts and Division of Elderly Affairs chief Catherine Taylor has issued a set of recommendations in the state’s first comprehensive Alzheimer’s plan.
The group’s recommendations include providing more flexible relief for caregivers, such as providing emergency substitute caregivers and creating an online social network. They suggest coordinating Alzheimer’s research efforts across the state, including promoting the benefits of participating in research studies. And they advocate more training and professional standards for health care providers. One suggestion is to standardize the definitions of Alzheimer’s and dementia care for nursing homes.
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