A new Dementia Care Services program is underway across North Dakota.
The Aging Services Division of the North Dakota Department of Human Services awarded a contract to the Alzheimer’s Association for development and implementation of the statewide program. Five new care consultants have been hired to provide community education, outreach and care consultations, as well as networking with health care professionals and law enforcement to raise awareness and knowledge of dementia.
Each region of North Dakota served by a Human Service Center is also served by a care consultant with some of the care consultants covering more than one region. This has allowed for a significant increase in the number of people the Alzheimer’s Association can reach, especially those living in remote areas of the state.
Care consultation and education services are provided free of charge and can be accessed from a person’s home, no matter where in the state the person lives. The care consultants are ready and able to bring their services into homes and communities, depending on the preference of each individual. Care consultation includes an individualized assessment and care plan. Care consultants are also available to assist with problem-solving and behavioral intervention techniques.
North Dakota is the first state in the nation to implement a statewide dementia education and care consultation program. It is the result of one of the most important pieces of legislation coming out of the 2009 North Dakota Legislature. The legislation appropriated $1.2 million for dementia care services.
As a state with one of the highest elderly populations in the nation, the program is an important advancement to help allow individuals the choice of remaining in their homes and communities as they age.
It is estimated that more than 18,000 North Dakotans have Alzheimer’s – a 13 percent increase in 10 years. There are more than 19,000 Alzheimer/dementia caregivers in the state who provide an estimated 22 million hours of unpaid care every year at a value of $255 million.
To access care consultation services, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association Regional Centers in Fargo (701-277-9757) or Bismarck (701-258-4933).
Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota-North Dakota
North Dakota Aging Resources