September 2016

News from the Alzheimer's Foundation of America
Washington Update:
CMS Releases New Data on "Independence at Home" Demonstration
AFA Supports Legislation to Make Demonstration a Medicare Program
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released new data on the Independence at Home (IAH) demonstration project, finding that adoption of this person-centered care model saves resources while improving quality of life. IAH provides people with chronic illness, including individuals with Alzheimer's disease, a complete range of primary care services in the home setting. Medical practices led by physicians or nurse practitioners provide primary care home visits tailored to the needs of beneficiaries.
CMS found that IAH, in year two of the demonstration, saved an average of $1,010 per beneficiary who was enrolled in the 15 participating practices. In addition, IAH practices improved in quality from the first performance year in at least two of the six quality measures. Four practices met the performance measures for all six quality measures which included lower hospital readmissions and emergency room visits. A copy of the CMS release can be found here .
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) has long supported innovative, person-centered, team-based care models-like IAH-that provide better outcomes, increase efficiencies and save care resources for people living with dementia and their families. AFA has endorsed S. 3130, The Independence at Home Act, introduced by Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). The bill seeks to convert the IAH demonstration into a permanent, national Medicare program. 
In a letter to the bill's sponsors, AFA's President and CEO Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. stated, "For individuals living with dementia, IAH implementation could offer savings two different levels of savings. First, the number and percentage of nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease could be reduced by allowing people with the illness to receive quality care at home. Second, coordinated in-home care could provide efficiencies in care delivery through a centralized medical provider."
Join Us:
AFA Concepts in Care September Educational Conferences

AFA is hosting two free, educational conferences during the month of September. On September 15, AFA's Concepts in Care conference will visit Chicago. Speakers include renowned dementia and caregiving experts Jeffrey, L. Cummings, M.D., Sc.D. Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, who will speak about Alzheimer's disease and the current state of clinical trials; Susan Frick, M.S.W., Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, who will speak about Young-Onset Alzheimer's disease; and Luisa Echevarria, community empowerment director, Univision, Chicago, and Ruben Parra Cardona, associate professor, Michigan State University, who will share their perspectives on caring for a parent with Alzheimer's disease.
In addition, AFA member organizations, CJE Senior Life and Chicago Dance Therapy will offer recreational therapies and there will be free memory screenings on site.
On September 29, AFA's Concepts in Care educational conference will visit Washington, D.C. The day's events will include opening remarks from Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), a strong advocate for Alzheimer's funding and caregiver supports; an overview of aging in place with Alzheimer's disease, from Vivek Sinha, M.D., founder, medical director and board-certified family medical doctor with Belleview Medical Partners; "Connecting in the Land of Dementia: Creative Activities to Explore Together," with Deborah Shouse and Ron Zoglin, authors and former family caregivers; dementia, delirium and depression, presented by Melanie Bunn, R.N,  M.S., G.N.P; and sex and dementia, with Stephanie Chong, B.S.W., M.S.W., executive director, Northwest Neighbors Village.
Both conferences will also include educational sessions on Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA), a condition that causes sudden outbursts of uncontrollable laughing or crying.
News to Use:

"AFA Partners in Care" Turns One
AFA's latest professional training offering: "AFA Partners in Care: Supporting Individuals Living with Dementia" celebrates its first birthday this month.
In the year since it was released, AFA has trained and certified hundreds of healthcare professionals across the country as "AFA Dementia Care Partners." 

To learn more, purchase the training DVD or register for an upcoming in-person training, visit

New Support Groups Kick-Off This Fall
This fall, AFA is introducing two telephone-based support groups for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease. The first, designed specifically for spouses of individuals with young-onset Alzheimer's debuts on September 7, from 4-5 p.m. EDT, and will last six weeks. The group will
help spouses learn about the disease, role changes, managing stress and how to ask for help.

The second is an educational support group, entitled "Caregiving 101," which kicks off October 4, from 3-4 p.m. EDT, and will last four weeks. This group is designed to help participants learn about Alzheimer's disease and how to support the individual with the illness as well as themselves.

Each group is facilitated by one of AFA's licensed social workers. Registration is required and space is limited. For more information or to register, call AFA's national toll-free helpline at 866-232-8484.
Nomination Period Now Open:
Dementia Care Professional of the Year
Since 2007, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America has recognized and awarded leaders working with individuals living with dementia as Dementia Care Professionals of the Year. Each year, AFA bestows this award on individuals who have demonstrated true professional excellence in care, compassionate performance above and beyond expectations, and a dedicated commitment to individuals living with dementia. These accomplishments can be recent or accumulated throughout a career of dedicated service. Click here to learn more about AFA's Dementia Care Professional of the Year or to nominate someone. 

Member Spotlight

Independence Care System
New York, NY

Independence Care System (ICS) is a nonprofit, community-based agency focused on meeting the unique needs of adults with disabilities and chronic conditions, including people with Alzheimer's and their family caregivers. ICS coordinates a wide range of home care, health care and social services under two distinct plans: one for New Yorkers who are eligible for Medicaid and a second plan for those eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare.
ICS built its reputation on providing services that allow our plan members to live at home, in the communities they love, near the people they love. To accomplish this, the ICS care system is designed to be responsive, coordinated, expert, empowering, respectful and flexible.
The ICS Specialized Dementia Team is led by Nettie Harper, an expert with many years of working with people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers, as well as training others in the field. You can read about Nettie and the ICS Alzheimer's Team approach here . Information about the two care plans offered by ICS can be found hereTo learn more about the ICS community, check out their blog. If you know someone who could benefit from our services, find more information or make a referral here.

A Note to AFA Member Organizations:  Do you have a program, event or service you'd like to share with others? Contact Amanda Secor, AFA's director of communications,  to share your idea. You could see your organization featured in our next "Member Spotlight" column.

Fundraiser Spotlight

September 19
AFA Golf Classic
On September 19, AFA will host its annual golf classic at the Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y.

Foursomes and individual golfers are welcome and sponsorships are available. 

Click here for more information or to register.

Upcoming Events

October 19
For the Love of Comedy with Pete Correale, New York City T ickets

October 26
AFA Concepts in Care Educational Conference Long Island, N.Y. Register

November 11
AFA Concepts in Care Educational Conference West Palm Beach, Fla. Register

Have a Question?
AFA's National Toll-Free Helpline is here for you! Staffed by licensed social workers, the helpline is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. EDT, and Saturdays, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT.

Call 866-232-8484.