IU School of Medicine and partners receive funding to deploy collaborative dementia care model

Supported by a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Indiana University School of Medicine and its partners have launched a 36-month venture to enhance, strengthen and expand supports for people with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) and their caregivers in 34 Indiana counties.

Managed by the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science, the goal of the Alzheimer's Disease Programs Initiative (ADPI) is to build upon existing home and community-based social supports to maximize the ability of people with ADRD to remain independent in their communities, said project director Steven R. Counsell, MD, who is a professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine and medical director for the Division of Aging in the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

The ADPI is a collaboration between IU School of Medicine; Eskenazi Health; Central Indiana's Area Agency on Aging (AAA) CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions and four additional Indiana AAAs (Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, LifeStream Services, REAL Services, and Thrive Alliance); Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging; Indiana Professional Management Group; Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association; Dementia Friends Indiana; and the Divisions of Aging and Disability & Rehabilitative Services of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. The effectiveness and impact of the project will be evaluated by the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community.

To achieve their goal, Counsell and grant partners will deploy the collaborative dementia care model and training interventions developed by the IU Center for Aging Research, which have been proven to reduce caregiver stress and improve quality of life. People with ADRD and their caregivers will receive coaching from community health workers serving as dementia care coordinator assistants, and in-home personal care workers will receive specialized training in dementia care.

According to Counsell, the ADPI will serve 1,000 individuals who are eligible for nursing home care, yet are living in the community aided by Medicaid in-home services and supports. In particular, people with ADRD who live alone or are aging with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as Down's syndrome, will receive support. In addition, the ADPI will provide training in dementia care to 500 personal care workers.

The project addresses the urgent needs of an aging population. By the end of 2020, 17 percent of Hoosiers will be 65 or over, and more than 110,000 of these older adults have ADRD. But the vast majority of these individuals live in community settings and many by themselves, indicating a significant demand for creative and rigorously researched community and home-based solutions.

At IU School of Medicine, we have proven that collaborative dementia care reduces caregiver stress and improves the quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers. The opportunity to work with community and state partners to expand these innovative services to reach more vulnerable Hoosiers and their families is a dream come true."

Dr. Steven R. Counsell, Project Director, IU School of Medicine

The U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services contributed one million dollars in federal funds to the total grant, or 75 percent of the project's total costs. The remaining 25 percent of the total--$333,333 in nongovernmental matching funds--was financed by the five partner Area Agencies on Aging.

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