BOSTON –Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL), a national senior services leader uniquely dedicated to rethinking, researching, and redefining the possibilities of aging, has been selected as the first adopter of the innovative Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program created at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The UCLA program underpins the evidence-based services of the Center for Memory Health at Hebrew SeniorLife, which opens today at the non-profit’s flagship campus in Boston. The spread of the UCLA program to more patients and families living with Alzheimer’s is supported by a grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation.
“Alzheimer’s is the cancer of the 21st century,” said Lewis A. Lipsitz, M.D., Director, Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research & Chief Academic Officer at Harvard Medical School affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife. “It not only affects the individuals with the disease, but also their families and caregivers. The UCLA program is focused on a multi-layered approach to critical care, social services, and caregiver needs that complements the vision, goals, research, and services we offer through the Center for Memory Health. Being selected as the first adopter in the United States is an honor that will advance the Center for Memory Health and serve as a model for other memory care providers in the United States.”
David B. Reuben, M.D., Director, UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatrics Medicine and Gerontology and head of the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care program, said, “Hebrew SeniorLife’s exclusive focus on the health and well-being of older adults helps them live their best lives, regardless of physical or cognitive limitations. Many older adults struggle with dementia and other mental health issues; so it is critical to properly diagnose and manage these conditions, and recognize the difficult, stressful role that family members and caregivers serve. Collaborating with the Center for Memory Health at Hebrew SeniorLife will enable us to extend the health benefits we have achieved at UCLA to older persons residing in Boston. In turn, we will learn from Hebrew SeniorLife about how best to disseminate the UCLA program.”
About the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program Grant
The UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program has demonstrated remarkable results in improving health outcomes without raising health care costs. In a new three-year program, funded by a $1.5M grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation, UCLA is partnering to make the program more widely available with first adopter Hebrew SeniorLife and several other organizations, including the Education Development Center, the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the American Geriatrics Society. The program’s key elements include supporting nurse practitioners to become dementia care specialists, educating patients and their families, building and monitoring customized care plans; and 24/7 access every day for advice and assistance to avoid unexpected emergency room visits.
Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, President of The John A. Hartford Foundation, said, “The nearly six million people living with Alzheimer's in this country urgently need help, as do the family members, clinicians, and health systems that provide care for them. We see the partnership between UCLA and Hebrew SeniorLife as a critical step in making sure that all people living with dementia and their caregivers get the support they need. We will learn from Hebrew SeniorLife’s adoption of UCLA’s proven program and share that learning with other organizations so that anyone who experiences dementia receives the highest quality care and can focus on what truly matters in their lives.”
Added Joanne Pike, DrPH, Chief Program Officer at the Alzheimer’s Association, “We are proud of our involvement with UCLA, The John A. Hartford Foundation, and Hebrew SeniorLife as we join forces to pilot the proven UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program at the Center of Memory Health in Boston.”
The Center for Memory Health at Hebrew SeniorLife applies a holistic, comprehensive, and evidence-based approach to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias that maximizes the functional capacity of older adults at all stages of memory loss and provides essential services to their families. Led by Medical Director Gary Epstein-Lubow, M.D., the Center for Memory Health offers clinical care, research, education, and advocacy. The Center for Memory Health serves everyone, regardless of where they live.
Dr. Epstein-Lubow said, “The opportunity to work with UCLA is core to our approach to team with fellow Alzheimer’s research and service leaders to dig deep into the causes, treatments, and supports that people living with dementia and their caregivers need as this deadly disease takes hold in their lives. Our UCLA partnership is already seeding new learnings and treatment approaches that all people with Alzheimer’s can benefit from today and in the future.”
About Hebrew SeniorLife
Hebrew SeniorLife, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, is a national senior services leader uniquely dedicated to rethinking, researching, and redefining the possibilities of aging. Based in Boston, the non-profit, non-sectarian organization, founded in 1903, provides communities and health care for seniors, research into aging, and education for geriatric care providers. For more information about Hebrew SeniorLife, visit http://www.hebrewseniorlife.org, follow us on Twitter @H_SeniorLife, like us on Facebook, or read our blog.