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Health & Medicine

CNY Alzheimer's Association: Focus on Effective Caregiver Solutions for Dementia

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A new report from the Alzheimer’s Association finds that New York makes more than $5 billion in Medicaid payments treating the disease.  That’s more than any other state in the nation.  

This may not sound like a problem,  but Catherine James, CEO of the CNY chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, warns that it is.

"Alzheimer's disease we know will be bankrupting the healthcare system in America and it's not just a matter of whether or not that will happen, it's a matter of when."

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Credit Alzheimer's Association
The CEO of the CNY chapter of the Alzheimer's Association believes that treatment is too dependent on nursing homes, instead of relying on caregiver based solutions which are cheaper and more effective.

James believes that treatment is too dependent on nursing homes, instead of relying on caregiver based solutions which are cheaper and more effective.  The report also found a breakdown in communication between patients and doctors.  James says just 16% of seniors report receiving a brief cognitive assessment during routine checkups.

"Patients were waiting for the doctors to initiate that conversation by asking the patient, 'Tell me a little bit about memory and thinking, are you having any challenges?' And the doctors are waiting for the patients to approach concerns that they're having."

James says the Alzheimer’s Association is trying to find ways to bridge that gap.   About 400,000 New Yorkers are living with Alzheimers, which she says could increase by 15% by 2050 without advances in treatment.