CICOA Partners with IU School of Medicine on Collaborative Dementia Care Model

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Alzheimer’s pilot program aimed at helping people live at home longer

When people with Alzheimer’s and other related diseases receive targeted, specialized care at home, they not only are able to live at home, but also their quality-of-life improves. That’s the hypothesis that will be studied over the next 36 months in 34 counties across Indiana beginning in January.

CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions partnered with Indiana University School of Medicine and the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community to receive a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services for this pilot program, called Alzheimer’s Disease Programs Initiative (ADPI).

CICOA, along with four other Indiana Area Agencies on Aging, will put into place a pilot program that will offer additional care services to clients living at home with Alzheimer’s or other related diseases. As part of the program, CICOA will hire a care coach, who will provide individualized disease education, resource identification, care planning and other interventions, in coordination with CICOA care managers.

“Because of the complex nature of dementia, this extra level of support intervention for patients and their caregivers is created to optimize the health, wellness and independence of CICOA clients living with the condition,” said Dustin Ziegler, CICOA’s vice president of community programs, who is one of the organizers of this new venture.

CICOA also will have a designated project coordinator who will train in-home personal care workers.

“Our goal is to collect evidence that shows these targeted interventions enable those living with dementia to remain at home, independent, and in optimal health. This collaborative dementia care model and training interventions have been shown to reduce caregiver stress and improve quality-of-life.”

Dustin Ziegler

More than 1,000 people with Alzheimer’s or related diseases will be part of the pilot program that will be conducted in 34 counties across the state, including Marion and the donut counties that comprise CICOA’s service area.

Dementia is the largest, most complex and most expensive disease (not including COVID-19), and the prevalence of those with the condition is expected to double.

“New and innovative models of care must be developed and utilized to meet the needs of this rapidly growing patient population,” Ziegler said. “This pilot program will help us understand if this care model is something that could be expanded throughout the entire state to improve the health, wellness, care, independence, and quality-of-life for Hoosiers living with dementia and their caregivers.”

The Alzheimer’s Disease Programs Initiative could also serve as a guide on how resources are distributed to deliver care to families living with dementia in Indiana. On average, it costs 50 percent less to care for someone in a home setting than it does in an assisted-living facility.

“If this model allows for individuals to remain independent and in their communities for longer periods of time, as opposed to a care facility, then we know we will have a model that fulfills our aim of clients remaining at home longer, with better care, at a lower price,” Ziegler said.

University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community (CAC) will evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the project. In addition to CICOA, other partners include Eskenazi Health, Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, LifeStream Services, REAL Services, Thrive Alliance, Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Indiana Professional Management Group, Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Dementia Friends Indiana (operated by CICOA), and the Divisions of Aging and Disability & Rehabilitative Services of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

The U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services contributed one million dollars in federal funds to the total grant, or 75 percent of the project’s total costs. The remaining 25 percent of the total—$333,333 in nongovernmental matching funds—was financed by the five partner Area Agencies on Aging, which includes CICOA. 

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