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IDD Updates Week of November 4, 2013
November 6, 2013

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
President Obama has issued a proclamation recognizing November as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. The national Alzheimer’s Association has a variety of information available, including the 10 Signs of Alzheimer’s fact sheet

Earlier this year, Governor Corbett established through Executive Order the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee. The committee held public forums across the state and is accepting written recommendations (email to alzstateplan@pa.gov) regarding identified needs and programs that need to be developed to serve the state’s aging population with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Policy Specialist Linda Drummond is a member of the Pennsylvania Aging/Intellectual Disability (ID) Committee which coordinates the annual Building Bridges Aging/ID conference and disseminates grants to county intellectual disability and aging departments to develop cross-systems trainings and cooperation. Drummond presented testimony and recommendations to this committee in August and, on behalf of RCPA, submitted written recommendations specific to serving those with intellectual and development disabilities with Alzheimer’s or dementia. A copy of those recommendations is available from Ms. Drummond. Information provided included the number of individuals with IDD currently served (over 48,000), noting that 27,000 are age 30 or older. Individuals with Down’s syndrome can present with Alzheimer’s and dementia as early as their late 30s or 40s.  Those with Down’s often have premature aging, including physical changes up to 20 – 30 years before the general population. Up to 25 percent of those with Down’s over age 35 show signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia., which makes these conditions three – five times greater than in the general population. Specialized services are needed, requiring increased funding for programs to provide specially trained staff, home modifications, and assistive technology.

ODP Updates
On November 1, Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Deputy Secretary Lokuta met with executives from sheltered workshop for a conversation on the future of employment services and identifying business practices now and the future. Discussion included where we are now, where we can go, and how to get there. This group will continue to meet to address a variety of issues specific to sheltered workshops, prevocational supports, and community employment options for individuals.

Announcement #098-13: ODP HCSIS Services and Supports Directory Reminder. Waiver providers need to sign up in HCSIS by December 31 for services they anticipate delivering in 2014/15

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