June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

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We all hear jokes about “senior moments,” like walking into a room and then promptly forgetting why. But Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is not the normal process of aging and really is nothing to laugh about. June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month so it’s a good time to remind people that Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in Idaho, increasing 41 percent in 2015 compared to 2014 and is higher than the national rate. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of all dementias.

Tell us what Alzheimer’s actually is. It’s more than just memory loss, right?

That’s right. It is a progressive disease that starts with mild memory loss that could lead to a person not knowing how to speak or how to carry out their daily activities. It involves the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. Scientists are learning more every day, but they still don’t know what causes it. Continue reading

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Supported Living Rates Set Following Comprehensive Survey

Changes to Medicaid’s supported living rates are being finalized following the completion of an intensive cost survey of Idaho providers.  This benefit pays for caregivers to support developmentally disabled adults in their own residence rather than in an institution or in a certified family home.

A group of supported living providers had previously sued the Department of Health and Welfare, contending that rates were too low to support their services.  The 9th Circuit Court enjoined the department to pay a higher rate for these services.  The Office of the Attorney General contested this case up to the United States Supreme Court, which resulted in the landmark Armstrong vs. Exceptional Child Center decision last December that established that providers do not have standing to sue states to increase their reimbursement. Continue reading