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Hawaii creates plan to address Alzheimer’s disease

August 5, 2014 - 3:06pm

HONOLULU — Hawaii has created a plan to address Alzheimer’s disease and dementia that includes a goal to prevent both conditions by 2025.

The plan, released Monday, helped the state Executive Office on Aging get a $50,000 grant, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

They’ll use the money to teach people how to identify stress factors among caregivers and to address how to talk about sensitive topics like powers of attorney and advanced health care directives.

The Office on Aging now has a road map that it didn’t have before, said Wesley Lum, director of the office.

“We have some really great champions in dementia care. But now we want to replicate what works and expand on that and pull together partnerships where we can work together,” Lum said.

Hawaii has an estimated 25,000 people over age 65 who have been diagnosed with dementia. Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, leading to memory loss and behavioral changes, according to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Preventing Alzheimer’s by 2025 would be optimistic, said Cullen Hayashida, director of Kapiolani Community College’s Kupuna Education Center.

“I don’t want to suggest it’s not a worthwhile dream, because this is a major, major challenge, not only for the state, but for the world,” Hayashida said.

The plan is available at

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