We’ve all heard the overwhelming and daunting facts about Alzheimer’s disease – almost to the point that we’ve become numb to them.
For example: Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United State; 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s; between 2017 and 2025 every state is expected to see at least a 14 percent rise in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s; and, by 2050, it’s estimated there will be as many as 16 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. It’s almost too much to grasp and that’s just a few of the innumerable statistics about this disease.
However, if there is a positive, it may be that there is no shortage of resources that professionals can use to work with families and patients with the disease. Following are tools for assessment, diagnosis, treatment and management, put out by the National Institute on Aging.
- Assessing Cognitive Impairment in Older Patients – This provides practical information and tips for assessing patients with memory loss or other signs of cognitive impairment with brief, easy-to-use tools.
- Managing Older Patients with Cognitive Impairment – This guide can be used to develop care strategies, discuss clinical trials, and make medical and family support plans for older adults with cognitive impairment.
- Now What? Next Steps After a Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease – Use this handout to refer patients to a wealth of information and resources about health care, safety, and more.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnostic Guidelines – Detailed information about the National Institute on Aging/Alzheimer’s Association Diagnostic Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Cognitive Impairment Care Planning Toolkit – This toolkit from the Alzheimer’s Association provides recommendations and tools for using the G0505 Medicare code for cognitive and functional assessment and care planning for patients with cognitive impairment.
- KAER Toolkit: 4-Step Process to Detecting Cognitive Impairment and Earlier Diagnosis of Dementia – This toolkit is focused on the KAER model developed by the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Workgroup on Cognitive Impairment Detection and Earlier Diagnosis and offers tools and resources to implement the four steps in the KAER model. (KARE is an acronym for Kickstart the cognition conversation; Assess for cognitive impairment; Evaluate for dementia; Refer for community resources.)
- ACT on Alzheimer’s Provider Practice Tools – These are decision-support tools for screening, diagnosis, and disease management, developed by a Minnesota group of health, government, and nonprofit organizations.
- Diagnosing Lewy Body Dementia – It reviews symptoms and guidelines for distinguishing LBD from other dementias.
- Diagnosing Frontotemporal Disorders – Get information about diagnosing frontotemporal dementia and related disorders.
The NIA site has additional tools and resources for Clinical Trials and Studies, Professional Training and Curricula, Patient and Caregiver Education and Patient Care.