UConn researchers study state’s forms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care

Professors Richard Fortinsky and Julie Robison of the University of Connecticut have received funding from the National Institute of Aging to continue their research with Alzheimer’s disease. Photo by Amanda Belec on Unsplash.

Two University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine professors have received  $2.2 million from the National Institute of Aging to continue their research into home and community-based services and their effectiveness on older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.  

Although HCBS programs are meant to provide living independence for anyone needing assistance with everyday life, one of the main targets are those diagnosed with ADRD. 

Professors Richard Fortinsky, who holds a Ph.D. in medical sociology and gerontology, and Julie Robison, who holds a Ph.D. in human development and family studies, will focus on how “racial and ethnic diversity, and the strength of informal caregiver support systems” affect outcomes for those with or without ADRD in HCBS programs in Connecticut, as well as their self-identified goals of care, according to UConn Today.  

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, some 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, but by 2050, nearly 14 million Americans will have the disease. This study, done on the enrolled population at Connecticut’s Home Care Program, will allow other states to examine the results from Connecticut and rethink care or research ADRD and HCBS further.  

“By incorporating direct input from participants about their own goals of care,” said Fortinsky and Robison in UConn Today. “We hope to inform policy makers and other stakeholders in Connecticut and elsewhere about how to plan for new care models to address the needs of this growing population and improve health-related outcomes for them and their families.” 

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