Research shows ways to cut Alzheimer's costs

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - There are 88,000 Minnesotans aged 65 plus diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Those numbers are also set to skyrocket as more Baby Boomers hit 65 plus. However, the cost to families and their caregivers can be reversed with some simple steps according to a new study.

The study, "Estimating the Potential Cost Savings From the New York University Caregiver Intervention In Minnesota," conducted by researchers Steven S. Foldes, Ph.D., and Kirsten Hall Long, Ph.D., for the first time predicts the potential cost savings to Minnesota through replication of the New York University Caregiver Intervention (NYUCI) model, by delaying residential care placement through enhanced caregivers support.

Long joined KARE 11 News @ 4 to explain more on what their research revealed.

The NYUCI program includes counseling sessions for caregivers, ongoing telephone counseling and encouragement to participate in weekly support groups. Studies have documented the benefits of this model of care, including improved effectiveness and wellbeing of caregivers and a median delay of more than 1½ years before permanent residential placement of the dementia patient is needed.

Foldes and Long modeled the effects of adopting the NYUCI program across Minnesota from 2010 to 2025 and predicted a potential direct care cost savings of $996 million to the state over the period. (with a range of nearly $100 million to $2.64 billion under worst- and best-case scenarios, respectively). They also found that 19.3 percent fewer people with dementia would die in institutions during this timeframe and approximately 5 percent more people living with dementia would remain in their homes each year after three years of program implementation.

The study was commissioned and funded by ACT on Alzheimer's.

In 2009, Alzheimer's Association advocates led legislation to create an Alzheimer's Disease Working Group (ADWG), whose purpose was to create a state plan to address the Alzheimer's epidemic. The result of the state plan established a coalition, Act on Alzheimer's (formerly Prepare Minnesota for Alzheimer's 2020), a voluntary statewide collaboration with more than 60 partner organizations in Minnesota who are preparing Minnesota for the impacts of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

For more information, head to the Minnesota-North Dakota Alzheimer's Association.


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