February 07, 2014
Contact: Alison Everett, 717-221-7935
Cell: 717-599-2077

PHCA/CALM Lauds Release of Alzheimer’s State Plan, Pledges Partnership in Fulfilling Recommendations

HARRISBURG —The Pennsylvania Health Care Association/Center for Assisted Living Management (PHCA/CALM)  today commended the release of a state report that examines the commonwealth’s Alzheimer’s Disease crisis and prescribes recommendations to address it.

The state plan was created by Pennsylvania’s newly-formed Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee, created by Governor Corbett through executive order last year.  Nearly 400,000 Pennsylvanians are living with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementias, and that number will rise as the commonwealth’s senior population rises.

Stuart H. Shapiro, MD, PHCA/CALM’s president and CEO, and David Leader, President and CEO of Providence Place Retirement Communities and PHCA/CALM’s chairman of the board, were appointed by the governor to serve on the Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee.  Shapiro represents Pennsylvania’s skilled nursing facilities, while Leader was chosen to represent the commonwealth’s personal care homes and assisted living residences.

“Governor Corbett rightly recognized that Pennsylvania needs to do more to prepare for the needs of the growing number of people living with this terrible disease — as well as the needs of those who care for them,” Dr. Shapiro said.  “PHCA/CALM enthusiastically supports the plan and pledges to help carry it out.”

Leader, whose family owns the Providence Place and Country Meadows retirement communities, which have provided innovative care for individuals with mild to advanced memory loss for several decades,  said he was honored to be chosen to serve on the committee.

“On behalf of Providence Place and Country Meadows, I look forward to working with the Governor and his administration to ensure that families have access to affordable, dignified, quality care for loved ones living with memory loss,” Leader said.

The committee is comprised of 26 state policy leaders, legislators, leaders in research and advocacy, and those personally affected by Alzheimer’s disease.  It  looked at needs and research trends, studied existing resources and formulated an effective response strategy to the rising number of individuals – mostly seniors – who are affected by the disease.

The seven recommendations released today are:

  • Improve awareness, knowledge and a sense of urgency about medical, social and financial implications of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias across the commonwealth.
  • Identify and expand financial resources to implement the plan through federal, state, foundation, provide and other funding mechanisms and partnerships.
  • Promote brain health and cognitive fitness across the life cycle, from birth onward.
  • Provide a comprehensive continuum of ethical care and support that responds to social and cultural diversity, with services and supports ranging from early detection and diagnosis to end-of-life care.
  • Enhance support for family and non-professional caregivers and those living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Build and retain a competent, knowledgeable, ethical and caring workforce.
  • Promote and support novel and ongoing research to find better effective cures, treatments and preventative strategies.
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