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Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative

According to the Alzheimer's Association, an estimated 5.4 million individuals in the United States are living with Alzheimer's disease (AD). While 16 million will have the disease by 2050. In the state of Florida there are an estimated 520,000 individuals living with AD. By 2025, it is anticipated that 720,000 individuals will be living with AD. Nearly 12% of Florida senior population has been diagnosed with AD. Many Alzheimer's patients require care 24 hours a day, especially in the late stages of the disease.

Florida's Alzheimer's Disease Initiative (ADI) provides services to meet the changing needs of individuals and families affected by Alzheimer's disease and similar memory disorders. The ADI provides caregiver respite services and support. ADI respite includes in-home, facility-based (usually at adult day care centers), emergency, and extended care (up to 30 days) for caregivers who serve patients with memory disorders. During fiscal year 2016-2017, 3,563 individuals received respite and support services, including case management; specialized medical equipment, services, and supplies; and caregiver counseling, support groups, and training.

Additionally, the ADI includes services provided by Memory Disorder Clinics (MDCs). The MDCs provide comprehensive diagnostic and referral services for persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. The MDCs had over 17,685 office visits during fiscal year 2016-2017 and provided telephone counseling, information, and support 20,325 times. The Memory Disorder Clinics routinely conduct community memory screening events that are free to the public. Individuals are screened, provided a score with an explanation of the results, and advised to follow up with their own physicians. A total of 1,747 memory screens were recorded last fiscal year, and 27,598 referrals were made on the behalf of clients and caregivers.

The Department of Elder Affairs has an active role in providing services to families dealing with Alzheimer's disease, providing training for professional caregivers, and supporting research efforts.

The Alzheimer's Disease Initiative (ADI) was legislatively created in 1985 to provide a continuum of services to meet the changing needs of individuals with Alzheimer's disease, and similar memory disorders, and their families. The Department of Elder Affairs coordinates and develops policy to carry out the statutory requirements for the Alzheimer's Disease Initiative. In conjunction with a ten-member advisory committee appointed by the Governor, the program includes three components:

Respite Services for Caregiver Relief

Many Alzheimer’s patients require care 24 hours a day, especially in the late stages of the disease. Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative respite includes in-home, facility-based (usually at Adult Day Care Centers), emergency, and extended care respite (up to 30 days) for caregivers of loved ones of memory disorders.

In addition to Respite Care Services, caregivers and consumers may receive supportive services essential to maintaining persons with Alzheimer’s disease or related disorder in their own homes. The supportive services may include caregiver training and support groups, counseling, consumable medical supplies, and nutritional supplements. Services are authorized by a case manager based on a comprehensive assessment and unmet needs identified during that assessment.

Alzheimer’s Respite Care programs are established in all of Florida’s 67 counties; many counties have multiple service sites. Alzheimer’s Support Groups allow caregivers the opportunity to come together to share their feelings and experiences, learn how to manage stressful situations, and improve caregiving skills. Caregivers gain knowledge, social interaction, and community involvement through these groups enabling them to become better caregivers and advocates for their loved ones. To find an Alzheimer’s Respite Provider or an Alzheimer’s Support Group in your area, please call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-963-5337.

Memory Disorder Clinics

The state of Florida has designated and funded 15 Memory Disorder Clinics that provide comprehensive assessments, diagnostic services, and treatment to individuals who exhibit symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and related memory disorders. The clinics also develop training programs and materials, and conduct training for caregivers, respite service providers, and health care professionals in the care of persons with Alzheimer's disease and related memory disorders.

In addition, Memory Disorder Clinics are responsible for conducting applied research that is service-related and are selected in conjunction with the Department of Elder Affairs. Clinics are established at medical schools, teaching hospitals, and public and private not-for-profit hospitals throughout the state in accordance with section 430.502, Florida Statutes, and must adhere to the requirements set forth by Florida Administrative Code Rule Chapter 58D-1.

Specialized Alzheimer’s Adult Day Care

There are Specialized Alzheimer’s Adult Day Care Centers, licensed in accordance with Section 429.918 F.S., that provide specialized Alzheimer’s services for AD clients. Staff at these specialized day care facilities must undergo more rigorous training on caring for persons who have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias than staff at normal adult day care facilities, so that quality of service is increased for the participants at the specialized day cares. FloridaHealthFinder.gov provides an up to date listing of all Specialized Alzheimer’s Adult Day Care Centers in Florida.

Florida Alzheimer’s Brain Bank

Follow this link to learn more about the Florida Alzheimer’s Brain Bank which supports the Alzheimer’s Disease Research.

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