National Plan Released on Dementia and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
The National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices has issued a plan for improving the community care of adults with intellectual disabilities affected by dementia. “This is an issue that will only grow in intensity and the nation needs to address this challenge head on" said Dr. Seth M. Keller, the President of the American Academy on Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and co-chair of the National Task Group. The Group's report, 'My Thinker's Not Working': A National Strategy for Enabling Adults with Intellectual Disabilities Affected by Dementia to Remain in Their Community and Receive Quality Supports”, summarizes and addresses some of the challenges facing the nation due to the increasing rate of dementia found in older people with intellectual disabilities.
The report offers recommendations for the improvement of services and suggests that its findings and recommendations be considered and integrated into the reports and plans being developed by the federal Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services — under the National Alzheimer's Project Act. The report notes that Alzheimer's disease mostly impacts adults with lifelong intellectual disabilities in the same ways as it does other people, but sometimes has a more profound effect due to particular risk factors.
The report also notes that it is important to recognize signs of dementia-related changes early, and identified an instrument potentially applicable to adults with an intellectual disability. An example of use for the instrument could be for the cognitive assessment provision of the annual wellness visit under the Affordable Care Act.
The report and its 'Action Plan' is available at these websites: www.aadmd.org/ntg and www.rrtcadd.org. For more information regarding the report please contact either Matthew Janicki, Ph.D. (University of Illinois at Chicago) at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Seth Keller, M.D. (President, American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry) at email@example.com.