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New Brief Provides Roadmap for Advancing Dementia Caregiving

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
April 7, 2021

The Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a 17-page action brief on dementia caregiving titled “Promoting Caregiving Across the Full Community: The Role for Public Health Strategists.”

This resource offers an overview of the challenges of caregiving for people living with dementia, then provides state, local, and tribal public health leaders with a framework and resources for action. I encourage you to explore this new action brief.

Caregiving is a major area for GSA member research, policy and advocacy work. GSA and its members are engaged in a variety of caregiving-related projects. Some examples:

  • GSA supports and advocates policies for paid family and medical leave as it relates to family caregiving through the Paid Leave Alliance for Dementia Caregivers and the National Alliance for Caregiving.
  • GSA is involved with the new Public Health Center of Excellence on Dementia Caregiving at the University of Minnesota Public School of Health. This is supported by funds from the CDC as a result of the BOLD (Building Our Largest Dementia) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act passed into law in 2018. GSA member Joseph Gaugler is the director of this new center — with many other members sitting on its Executive Committee and Steering Committee. GSA as an organization sits on the Executive committee, represented by Vice President for Policy and Professional Affairs Patricia D’Antonio and Visiting Scholar Katie Maslow.
  • GSA has a very active Family Caregiving Interest Group, led by Karen Appert and Mary Antonelli.
  • Best Practice Caregiving, a partnership between Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging and Family Caregiver Alliance, is a free online database of proven dementia programs for family caregivers. It’s led by David Bass and colleagues, with GSA as a partner, again represented by Katie Maslow.
  • GSA President Terri Harvath currently directs the Family Caregiving Institute at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis
  • Members Alan Stevens and Casey Shillam are co-chairs of the RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council, where many other members serve in leadership roles — as well as faculty members of the related National Academy for State Health Policy RAISE Family Caregiver Resource and Dissemination Center.
  • GSA recently released a new edition of its KAER toolkit, which is intended to support primary care teams in implementing a comprehensive approach to initiating conversations about brain health, detecting and diagnosing dementia, and providing individuals with community-based supports.

Consistent with the mission of GSA, our members’ excellence in interdisciplinary aging research and education strengthens our opportunities to advance innovations in practice and policy.

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