North Dakota Dementia Care services project from Alzheimer’s Association helps families

“North Dakota is the first and only state in the nation to appropriate state funding to implement a dementia education and care consultation program delivered across the entire state,” The goal of the project is to help people with dementia and their caregivers become educated and equipped to handle dementia care issues.

Posted 11/9/17

Having free education and dementia services available regardless of where in the state the person lives allows for a significant increase in the number of people the Alzheimer’s Association can reach, especially those living in remote areas.”

Alzheimer’s is an epidemic. Currently, an estimated 5 million Americans are living with the disease including 14,000 people right here in North Dakota. Additionally, there are more than 30,000 dementia caregivers in the state who provide an estimated 35 million hours of unpaid care every year at a value of $438 million.

The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will grow each year as the number and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase. Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States overall and the 5th leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older. It is the 3rd leading cause of death of North Dakotans. It is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent it, cure it or even slow its progression.

As a state with one of the highest elderly populations in the nation, the North Dakota Dementia Services Project is an important advancement to help allow individuals the choice of remaining in their homes and communities as they age.

The North Dakota Dementia Care Services Project: (ruralhealth.und.edu/pdf/assessment-of-the-north-dakota-dementia-care-service-program.pdf) began in January 2010, with funding from the North Dakota Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division, to the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter.  Care consultants meet with people with dementia and their caregivers to increase knowledge and decrease caregiver stress by assessing needs; identifying issues, concerns, and resources; developing care plans and referrals; and providing education and follow-up. Employed by the Alzheimer’s Association, care consultants have a background in counseling, social work, or long-term care administration; all have a bachelor’s degree and many a relevant master’s degree. They are clinically supervised by a clinical services director with a master’s in social work and extensive experience in care consultation.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Services can be accessed by calling our toll-free 24/7 Information Helpline at 1-800-272-3900, or by calling your local Care Consultant. For services in Regions 3 and 6, counties Wells, Foster, Griggs, Barnes, Dickey, Lamoure, McIntosh, Logan, Stutsman, Eddy, Ramsey, Benson, Towner, Cavalier and Rolette please contact Beth Olson, Regional Care Consultant for the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota / North Dakota at 701-952-0800, cell 701-350-0131 or bolson@alz.org.

At any age, there are lifestyle habits we can adopt to help maintain or even potentially improve our health. These habits may also help to keep our brains healthy as we age and possibly delay the onset of cognitive decline. To help people age well, the Alzheimer’s Association® is offering the Healthy Habits for a Healthier You program. This workshop covers four areas of lifestyle habits that are associated with healthy aging: • Cognitive activity  • Physical health and exercise • Diet and nutrition • Social engagement. Please join us at the Cavalier County Courthouse on Monday, November 20 at noon.  

Feel free to bring your own brown bag lunch while you listen to the program that is open to the public.


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