The Brain Health Initiative
The Administration for Community Living is launching a campaign to educate Americans about aging, brain health, and resources for those dealing with dementia. It will be introduced by a series of public service announcements featuring Marcia Gay Harden, and a new website, www.brainhealth.gov that is chock-full of information.
The initiative hopes to educate people about a range of topics crucial to understanding and living well with cognitive problems, including:
- Brain anatomy
- How the brain functions
- What constitutes normal aging
- How Alzheimer’s disease interferes with brain function
- Opportunities to participate in a clinical trials studying dementia
- Best practices for living with and supporting those with symptoms of dementia
- How to maximize brain health
- Current research findings
- What communities can do to support families living with dementia
In conveying this information, the website draws on the expertise of, and provides links to, the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Center for Disease Control, and the research laboratories of leading universities, among others. The site does an excellent job of gathering information, best practices and insight on dementia in one site.
You can spend hours looking at the material, or you can simply review a one-page summary fact sheet. There is material for families, health care providers, community leaders, and long term care providers. If you are an educator, you can download a power point presentation for community presentations; if you are a caregiver, you can access lists of community resources.
So what is the purpose of Administration for Community Living (ACL) and its website? The ACL is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. It is anticipating the growth of the population with dementia, and who will need support and services. It is laying the foundation for a better informed community and the development of easily accessed resources and supports for seniors and their families.