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National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is Opportunity to Reach Those with Cognitive Impairment

NHDDWednesday, April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), an opportunity to empower individuals to make the best health care decisions and plans for their future care. This is especially important for individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias when they can still express their future wishes and care decisions before cognition and function decline. Early planning also eliminates the guesswork for families and allows time to work through complex legal and financial issues.

What Can Public Health Do 2014









On April 16, organizations nationwide will be highlighting the importance of advance health care planning by providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and health care providers, and execute written advance directives consistent with their state laws.

In accordance with the Public Health Road Map, public health officials should use this day to promote advance care and financial planning to those in the early stages of dementia and their families. The National Institute on Aging’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR) offers a fact sheet on legal and financial planning for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Information on legal and financial planning, building a care team, and end-of-life planning is also available on the Alzheimer’s Association's new “I Have Alzheimer’s Disease” web site.

Because of the importance of advance planning for the community as a whole, public health agencies should consider engaging in this issue year-round. Two possible actions are:

If you take action on this issue, please let us know so that we can publicize your good work.

For more information on National Healthcare Decision Day, including a list of participating organizations across the country and suggestions on outreach activities, visit

Health Affairs Examines the Impact of Alzheimer's Disease

Health Affairs Mag CoverThe April issue of Health Affairs explores the escalating burden of Alzheimer’s disease and the opportunities to address these challenges through research, policy and care strategies. Featured articles in the April issue include investigating the potential economic impact of addressing risk factors to prevent Alzheimer’s disease; risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease in African Americans; estimated cost savings from caregiver interventions; and workforce implications. To read the latest issue, visit

ASTHO Healthy Aging Webinar on Cognition & Physical Activity: April 14,

ASTHO logoIn the latest in a series of webinars related to the Public Health Road Map on cognitive health and Alzheimer’s disease, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) will be hosting a Healthy Aging Webinar on Cognition & Physical Activity on April 14 from 3:00-4:00pm ET. This webinar will explore ways to incorporate the Road Map activities with existing state-based efforts to increase physical activity among older adults. It will highlight integrated physical activity initiatives and policies encompassing public awareness and education, partnerships, data and research, and community-based programs.

Speakers include Dr. Lynda Anderson, Director of the Healthy Aging Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Dr. Wayne Osness, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences at the University of Kansas; and Meghan Faulkner from the Arthritis Program at the Michigan Department of Community Health, Diabetes and Other Chronic Diseases Section.

Pre-registration is required. Visit to sign up for this informative session.


The Alzheimer’s Public Health E-News is supported by Cooperative Agreement #5U58DP002945-04 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the Alzheimer’s Association and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.


The Road Map
Healthy Brain Initiative - Road Map CoverThe CDC Healthy Aging Program and the Alzheimer's Association partnered to develop an updated Road Map for the public health community to address cognitive health, Alzheimer's disease, and the needs of caregivers through 35 actions.

Public Health Agenda
PublicHealth-Agenda-2013The Alzheimer's Association has identified three key elements of an Alzheimer's public health agenda: surveillance, early detection, and promotion of brain health.

The 10 Warning Signs
Know the 10 Signs
The Know the 10 Signs campaign is a national education effort to increase awareness of the warning signs of Alzheimer's disease and the benefits of early detection and diagnosis.
For more information on the Healthy Brain Initiative, the public health agenda, or Alzheimer's disease in general, contact Hye Kim or check out

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