Senate, House Approve Legislation to Improve Hospital Care for Patients with Alzheimer’s, Dementia

BOSTON – State Representative James O’Day joined his colleagues in the Legislature on July 31st in sending final legislation to the Governor that create an Alzheimer’s and related dementias acute care advisory committee. Senate 1882, An Act Relative to the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Acute Care Advisory Committee creates a committee that will assess acute care hospitals’ ability to provide dementia capable care to patients, and develop a strategy to address the needs of patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia in acute care settings. The committee will also coordinate with the Federal government to apply for any applicable waivers or programs to ensure dementia capable care in these settings, and serve as a resource for acute care hospitals with questions about how to care for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“This legislation is a great example of our commitment to ensuring quality care for our seniors as they age,” said Representative James O’Day, House Chair of the Elder Affairs Committee. “I look forward to seeing the work that this advisory committee will do to improve how we care for people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias in hospital settings.”

The Alzheimer’s Association, in 2013 released a fact sheet indicating that over 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and this number will increase to 16 million by 2050. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer’s or another dementia. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated to total $203 billion in the United Stated in 2013.