Senator Patricia Jehlen announces that the Massachusetts Senate has passed An Act Relative to the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Acute Care Advisory Committee. This legislation creates an Advisory Committee to craft a strategy to address dementia-capable care in all acute care setting in the Commonwealth. The committee will present a strategy to the state legislature and state agencies, help ensure that acute care settings are dementia-capable, and will provide information and coordination of dementia care in acute care settings across the state.
Given the increasing number of individuals with dementia in the Commonwealth, expected to rise 17% or more in the next decade to more than 135,000, it is necessary to ensure dementia-capable care across all care settings for immediate preservation of the public health. Individuals with dementia who enter an acute care setting, such as an emergency room, are often not able to communicate their condition. Currently, hospital staffs in Massachusetts are not trained specifically on Alzheimer’s and related dementias and care. Cognitive impairment often presents with challenging behaviors and often staff is not prepared. At times a hospital stay resulted in worsening cognitive impairment symptoms. The advisory committee will aim to ensure a well-rounded system of care is provided to these patients.
People living with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments, along with their caregivers, deserve the best care and resources available to access that care. The establishment of this committee will help achieve that goal for them.
– Submitted by State Senator Patricia Jehlen’s office