Guest Blog Post: State Council’s Alzheimer’s Recommendations Focus On Early Detection

We are pleased to welcome the Coalition of New York State Alzheimer’s Association Chapters as a guest blogger! Join the group at the State Capitol on May 16 to help end Alzheimer’s disease. 


New York State is home to the fourth largest number of people in the United States with Alzheimer’s disease.  In 2010, an estimated 320,000 people age 65 and older in New York had Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. By 2025, that figure is expected to reach 350,000.

Without a way to cure, prevent or slow Alzheimer’s disease, education and early detection are essential strategies to address this growing crisis. The sooner a diagnosis can be made, the better the opportunities are for treatment and for involving the patients in care planning while they are still able to participate.

Education and early detection are central to the recommendations released this week by the state’s Coordinating Council for Services Related to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias. The Coordinating Council, which crafted the state’s Alzheimer’s plan, issued its first report in 2009 and provides updated recommendations every two years.

The Coalition of New York State Alzheimer’s Association Chapters is looking forward to engaging Governor Cuomo, the Legislature and the State Department of Health in efforts to ensure that:

  • All people older than 65 (or those who are younger and exhibit one or more of the 10 Warning Signs) get cognitive screening as part of regular primary care, emergency care and any hospitalization.
  • Primary care providers, emergency department staff and other health professionals get appropriate training.
  • Education materials are created and targeted to the different audiences that need to know about Alzheimer’s disease.
  • A public education campaign coordinated by the Department of Health and other state agencies is launched.
  • Advance care planning is emphasized by health care providers for patients and family members to identify patients’ wishes early in the disease process.

The Council’s recommendations can help position New York State to tackle the growing impact and costs of Alzheimer’s. New York’s lawmakers must act now to support and protect the individuals and families who are facing this devastating disease.

– By Catherine James and Elaine Sproat, Co-Chairs of the Coalition of New York State Alzheimer’s Association Chapters

-Jaime Venditti, 5/4/12