Successful cross-network collaboration begins with a shared understanding of the nature and scope of the needs of adults with IDD affected by dementia. To accomplish this, several initiatives to provide cross-network training have been developed for IDD and aging services providers.
6.1.1 Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs)
ADRCs serve as a visible and trusted resource for all populations, regardless of age, income or disability, for objective information on their long-term services and support options and their Medicare benefits. While ADRCs vary in their capacity and relationship with the IDD network, the vision is to achieve a system that can serve all populations (J. Lugo, Office of Consumer Access and Self-Determination, U.S. Administration for Community Living, personal communication, July 7, 2015). Dementia-specific content with a focus on persons with IDD has been incorporated into staff training in some ADRCs.
6.1.2 The Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA)
DOEA developed "Meeting the Needs of Aging Persons with Developmental Disabilities: Cross Network Collaboration for Florida," a five-module training for ADRC staff which describes the differences, commonalities, barriers, and similarities between the two networks and how to overcome the barriers or enhance similarities (R. Lucchino, Emeritus Professor Utica College, President of the Board, Area Agency on Aging for South West Florida, personal communication, March 8, 2015). The training materials are available through the DOEA.
6.1.3 National Task Group on Intellectual Disability and Dementia Practices (NTG)
NTG has developed a multipurpose universal education and training curriculum on dementia and intellectual disability (NTG, 2015). The NTG Education and Training Curriculum on Dementia and Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities is a two-day in-person training. The curriculum covers an introduction to aging with IDD, IDD and dementia, dementia versus Alzheimer's, screening and early detection of dementia, health care advocacy, steps to getting a proper diagnosis, stages of dementia and associated caregiver tips and strategies, non-pharmacologic management of difficult behaviors, communication, programmatic issues and considerations, supporting staff and family caregivers and bridging the aging and IDD networks (K. Bishop and K. Pears, National Task Group, personal communication, January 7, 2015).
A 3-day format includes a Train-the-Trainer day and prepares local trainers in the core concepts of the curriculum, implementation strategies, workshop logistics, curriculum materials and how to use them, and fidelity maintenance. The Train-the-Trainer model goal is to develop a cadre of NTG regional trainers who will then be available with ongoing support from the NTG and NTG master trainers to provide ongoing training to their own organizations and to outside agencies on a fee-for-service basis.