More than 6 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease, leaving no segment of our community untouched by this disease. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in Oregon and the only one for which there is no way to cure, prevent, or even slow its progression. More than 69,000 Oregonians are living with Alzheimer’s and by 2025, that number is expected to increase by almost 40% to 84,000. Therefore, it requires coordinated efforts to address this growing public health crisis.
In 2010, the SPADO Task Force was formed and included non-profit organizations, state government agencies, academic researchers, issue experts, physicians, family caregivers, care providers, and state legislators. The SPADO Task Force heard public input from a variety of sources. This input informed and validates the five recommendations included in SPADO. In 2012, the first SPADO was released. Today, SPADO workgroups continue to collaborate across public and private sectors, working toward implementation of SPADO goals and the improvement of dementia diagnosis, care, and support throughout Oregon.
GOAL 1: ENHANCE PUBLIC AWARENESS & ENGAGEMENT
A. Increase public awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia by increasing access to resources for persons with dementia and their caregivers, including specific outreach to diverse populations disproportionately impacted by the disease.
B. Educate all Oregonians about the importance of brain health and early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
C. Promote brain health across the lifespan by participating in state-wide, evidence based campaigns for heart heath, anti-smoking, substance abuse reduction, exercise, diet, and chronic disease management to encourage Oregonians to manage and preserve cognitive health.
GOAL 2: Optimize Access to Quality Treatment and Care
A. Incentivize health systems throughout Oregon to develop improved care for Oregonians with Alzheimer’s or other dementias by training primary care providers to screen for, diagnose and treat, and participate in treatment plans.
B. Ensure a dementia capable workforce by developing and implementing quality standards for dementia care in Oregon’s, licensed long-term care settings, in-home services and correctional facilities, hospital settings, emergency departments, law enforcement, emergency first responders and adult protective services.
C. Expand appropriate care settings that promote person-centered care and services for persons with dementia who require a higher level of expertise and staff who understand that their significant behavioral actions are attempts to communicate needs.
GOAL 3: Protect the Safety and Well-Being of Individuals with Dementia
A. Require that all Oregon guardians, both family and professional, receive training on dementia, as well as on the responsibilities and ethics of representing a person with dementia.
B. Protect the safety, rights and well-being of individuals with dementia from abuse, financial exploitation and fraud.
GOAL 4: Improve Support and Education for Family Caregivers
A. Increase knowledge and awareness of dementia for family caregivers by increasing access and availability to dementia education and resources.
B. Educate the public about the need for caregiver relief and ensure access to respite services for their emotional, physical and medical well-being, regardless of age or financial status.
GOAL 5: Promote Research on Dementia In Oregon
A. Support dementia research in Oregon and encourage Oregonians to understand, participate in and support appropriate research efforts with a focus on diverse populations.
B. Promote research that informs public health strategies and public policies to reduce disparities in the care, support, and treatment of Alzheimer’s and other dementias in Oregon.
C. Utilize research as a tool to benchmark and measure, where appropriate, and to support progress toward achieving the goals of SPADO