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Alzheimers State Plan

Wyoming State Plan

To Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

August 2018

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Wyoming Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force: APPENDIX B, Needs Assessment Results

 


Where We Are Today

Both incurable and fatal, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/RD) are arguably the most daunting public health challenge of our time.  More than five million people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent type of dementia, and by 2050 this number is projected to rise to 13.8 million[1].  Risk reduction measures and early diagnosis are essential to managing the effects of dementia and reducing health-related costs.  The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) was signed into law by President Obama in 2011 and calls for a comprehensive plan to address Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.[2] Following the passage of NAPA, states around the nation have developed and implemented statewide plans to raise public awareness, provide education, coordinate services, train practitioners, and support the burgeoning needs of communities affected by this public health crisis. 

Current Challenges in Wyoming

  • Wyoming is a rural state with a small, geographically dispersed population;
  • Wyoming has few specially-trained practitioners, such as geriatric psychiatrists, memory care specialists, and other staff trained to work specifically with people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias;
  • There is a lack of geriatric mental health care in Wyoming; individuals who do not receive needed geriatric mental health care are at risk of being inappropriately placed, living in more restrictive, more expensive, and less appropriate locations;
  • There are limited facilities for people living with AD/RD, particularly those with memory care needs;
  • There is no standardized mechanism for patient discharge and caregiver information for those with AD/RD:
    • When people living with dementia are discharged from the hospital, there is no process by which their caregiver is notified of their course of treatment;
    • When people who might be at risk of dementia are admitted to the hospital, there is no mechanism by which they can be screened for dementia in spite of the existence of reliable screening tools (e.g. the Mini-Cog); and,
  • There are little to no resources for individuals with AD/RD, who lack capacity to make healthcare or financial decisions, including limited resources to obtain a professional guardian, conservator, or payee.

Key to Success

Our success depends on developing a strong coalition of organizations, providers, caregivers, nursing home representatives, and practitioners around the state.  With input and materials from surrounding states in the region, the Wyoming State Plan can inform the strategies designed to capitalize on our strengths and minimize our challenges.


* PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

 The Wyoming State Plan to Address AD/RD is a living document. Activities completed by the work group and identified stakeholders will be structured according to the short, intermediate, and long term timeframes assigned to recommendations. These timeframes have not been assigned specific dates or lengths of time, they are arranged so the work group and stakeholders can begin with the short-term and progress through the intermediate and long-term.  The work group will produce periodic, and as needed reports to inform interested parties as to any new information on the subject Reports will include any work that has been accomplished in the previous year. 
 

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