IDD and Dementia. Section 6: Initiatives to Improve Community-based Services for People with Idd and Dementia

07/01/2015

Dementia care is an area in which the aging and IDD networks systems can collaborate to improve services as their populations face similar needs and, over time, may cross systems (Factor et al., 2012). To meet needs and support adults with IDD affected by dementia as they attempt to remain in their homes and communities, some parts of the aging and IDD networks are developing a system of care that includes support from community care programs. The focus of these efforts has included training staff in aging and dementia care issues for people with intellectual disabilities and ensuing that formal services and family care supports are prepared for dementia (Jokinen et al., 2013).

In recent years, initiatives have sought to formalize dementia-focused cross-network collaboration, such as the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease (2014) and the state dementia plans of Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, and New York. For example, the U.S. National Plan implementation includes the development of standardized inter-professional education to address the unique needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities through cross-network collaboration. Professionals from the aging and IDD networks are joining with other disciplines to develop the standardized curriculum. The 2013 Report of the New York State Coordinating Council For Services Related to Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias (2013), in its issues and recommendations for individuals with IDD and AD, states that the Department of Health and partners should train professionals and paraprofessionals who work with individuals with developmental disabilities to be aware of the connection between Down syndrome and AD and to identify indicators of AD.

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