As the number of adults living in the United States grows, the number of individuals living with dementia grows along with it. People who live with dementia and their caregivers often require and benefit from a broad array of services and supports that help them continue living in the community. As a result, the Idaho Commission on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), which have decades of experience helping older adults and people with disabilities remain in their homes and communities, are at the front lines of providing critical services and have been developing a statewide program to ensure access to sustainable, long-term services and supports that can meet the needs of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia and their caregivers.
- Rest for the caregiver. Several publicly funded respite programs exist in Idaho, contact your local Area Agency of Aging to learn more.
- Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Idaho
- Family Navigator Pilot (SW Idaho)
- Powerful Tools for Caregiver classes. A 6-part workshop designed to help family caregivers find balance while caring for a loved one.
- ICOA Website and Dementia Skills online course
Researchers continue to examine ways to prevent or delay dementia and a 2017 review by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, found evidence that three types of interventions–cognitive training, blood pressure control, and increased physical activity–could help prevent or slow cognitive decline and dementia (NAP, 2017). Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports the concept that brain health is connected to heart health. The CDC recommends steps such as controlling blood pressure, eating healthy foods, limiting alcohol, managing diabetes, not smoking, and staying active as ways to reduce risk factors for dementia.Sources:
Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward; https://www.nap.edu/resource/24782/Highlights062217CognitiveImpairment.pdf
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Brain Health Is Connected to Heart Health; https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/healthy-body-brain.html