Add Caregiver Status to Health Records, Alzheimer Panel Says

The federal Alzheimer's advisory council meets in Washington

(Photo: Thinkstock) (Photo: Thinkstock)

The federal panel that leads the U.S. fight against Alzheimer's disease and related dementias wants to get more caregiver information into standard medical records.

Members of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care and Services approved a caregiver medical record performance measure earlier this week, at an in-person meeting in Washington.

The council posted a collection of meeting documents on the web. 

(Related: David Hyde Pierce: U.S. Needs Caregiver Support Yardstick)

Congress created the council in 2011, when it passed the National Alzheimer's Project Act. The council is supposed to push the country to find a way to prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease and related dementias by 2025.

The council is also supposed to shape efforts to help people with dementia and their loved ones.

At the meeting in Washington, the council adopted a proposal to add a collection of caregiver support performance measures to the National Plan, the document that shapes the council's work.

One that could affect health insurers calls for a change in patients' medical records.

Medical records should include the name of the primary caregiver of a patient with dementia, according to the council.

The council also wants to see the medical records for the caregiver note that the caregiver is acting as a caregiver.

Researchers have found evidence that providing care may affect the health of the caregiver.

The council also approved:

  • A request for the government to study how responsibility for caregiving for adults with dementia is affecting young children.

  • A request for Congress to expand the scope of the federal Older Americans Act, to let the government provide more services under the OAA for non-elderly adults with early-onset dementia.

  • A request for National Family Caregiver Support Program funding aimed at families that care for loved ones with dementia who live alone.

  • A recommendation for organizations to give children and young adults more information about dementia, both through classroom instruction and through social media.

--- Read An LTC planner's guide to the presidential candidates on ThinkAdvisor.

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