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Ohio's evidence-based program to reduce disabilities in Alzheimer's disease to be featured in The Gerontologist

Feb. 21, 2012

Ohio's Reducing Disability in Alzheimer's Disease (RDAD) program will be featured in an upcoming edition of The Gerontologist, the renowned journal of The Gerontological Society of America (Teri et al, "Translation of Two Evidence-Based Programs for Training Families to Improve Care of Persons With Dementia" The Gerontologist Advance Access published Jan. 12, 2012, doi:10.1093/geront/gnr132). Noting the growing need for community programs to improve care of older adults with dementia and their caregivers, the article discusses the development of the RDAD program, highlighting its systematic, evidence-based methods. Ohio was one of only two states discussed in the article.

RDAD helps people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers.RDAD is an evidence-based program developed at the University of Washington and available statewide in Ohio. Home health professionals, nurses and social workers work directly with individuals with dementia and their caregivers in the care recipient's home. RDAD provides exercise training for people with dementia, while also training their family caregivers about how to manage behavioral symptoms. Research has shown that RDAD reduces behavioral symptoms and depression and improves the participants' physical functioning, helping to prevent or delay nursing home placement. More than 500 individuals and their caregivers have been helped by the RDAD program as of February 2012.

In surveys, families who have completed the RDAD program report the program makes a big difference in the individual's physical health and well-being, while helping the caregiver. "I am so grateful for the patience help and support I received from the Alzheimer's Association (trainer) during these sessions. I learned so much to help both my husband and myself. It's a great program," said one participant. "I would like to thank all of those involved with this program. It is essential to my grandmother's well-being and physical health," said another participant.

The RDAD program is funded through an Alzheimer's Disease Supportive Services Program grant from the Administration on Aging, and is made possible by a partnership between the Ohio Department of Aging, local Alzheimer's Association chapters and evaluators from the Margaret Blenkner Research Institute of the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging. Area agencies on aging, senior services providers and health professionals provide referrals to the RDAD program. For more information about the RDAD program, contact the Alzheimer's Association at 1-800-272-3900.

The Gerontologist article also examines Oregon's STAR-Community Consultants (STAR-C) program. You can read about the paper here.

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About Aging News and Perspective

Aging News and Perspective, published by the Ohio Department of Aging, is a blog-like publication that connects interested Ohioans to news and information about issues affecting older Ohioans and the people who care for and serve them. Topics include the latest resources and best pactices within the aging network, state and federal programs and benefits, pending and recent policy and legislation that may impact older Ohioans, the latest research in gerontology and aging issues and more.

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