Families may be unaware of many services available for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. And in Hawai‘i, a large proportion (70 percent) of dementia care is provided at home.

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Nova Erickson assists her grandmother, Jane Nagareda, at home.

In September 2015, the University of Hawai‘i Center on Aging was awarded a three-year federal grant from the Administration for Community Living for the Hawai‘i Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (HADI). HADI aims to build “dementia capability” within the state by creating and improving services for patients and their caregivers and by providing training for physicians and health professionals.

HADI complements the work of other notable organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter. As principal investigator for the HADI team, I work with Co-Principal Investigator Ritabelle Fernandes, MD, MPH, and Project Consultant Jody Mishan.

There are several exciting initiatives in process:

• HADI is developing a new website (www.hawaii.edu/aging/hadi) that will become a one-stop site for resources and tools for brain health, memory loss, and dementia, and dementia care.

• Recently, HADI trained over 100 professionals and volunteers as Hawai‘i’s first Memory Care Navigators, who will help persons with memory loss or dementia and their caregivers understand their needs and connect them with appropriate services. Visit: www.hawaii.edu/aging/hadi.

• Soon, Savvy Caregiver, a new program, will give family caregivers knowledge and skills to handle the challenges of caring for a family member. The training program is conducted over six group sessions by HADI, in partnership with several other organizations.

HADI also intends to train professionals in dementia care, modeled after the national Dementia-Friendly America collaborative. Recently, Dr. Terry and Michelle Barclay’s held workshops that trained case managers on best practices in care coordination for persons with memory loss and dementia. Clinicians and primary care providers were updated about how to conduct a comprehensive dementia workup. Additional training programs will be offered in the future.

HADI is also championing Dementia Friendly Communities (www.dfamerica.org). View a special presentation via ‘Ōlelo Community Media’s On Demand; enter the keywords “Dementia Friendly Communities.”

For more information and to see a full list of our community partners, call the UH Center on Aging or visit the UHCOA website.

 


UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I CENTER ON AGING

1960 East West Road, Bio Medical Sciences T-705B, 
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822
808-956-5001  |  uhcoa@hawaii.edu

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