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Opinion: Make Palliative and Hospice Care Available to All Affected by Dementia

July 9, 2017 | By CAPC Staff

Zac Jones, a resident of Nashville where he serves as a part-time caregiver to his grandmother with Alzheimer’s, has penned a piece in the Tennessean (part of the USA Today Network) on the need for better palliative care services for patients dealing with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. He believes this can be remedied by better education and support for the upcoming Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) bill.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. In Tennessee in particular, there are 110,000 people 65 and older living with the disease, yet less than half of surveyed nursing homes in Tennessee have a palliative care program.

“For people with advanced dementia, team-based care like the kind my grandmother receives —focusing on managing and easing symptoms, reducing pain and stress, and increasing comfort — improves quality of life, controls costs, and enhances patient and family satisfaction,” said Jones.

Jones points to the growing bipartisan support for the PCHETA bill, which would ensure an adequate, well-trained palliative care workforce through workforce training, education and awareness, and enhanced research.

“PCHETA would make this critical service available to millions of Americans by establishing workforce training programs, creating a national education and awareness campaign to inform the public about services and supports, and enhancing research on improving delivery of palliative care,” said Jones. Click here to read more.

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