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Alzheimer's Disease Signs & Symptoms

A mock communication program for older adults in the state of Illinois.
by

Jane Smallwood

on 7 August 2013

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Transcript of Alzheimer's Disease Signs & Symptoms

Knowing the Signs and Symptoms
of Alzheimer's Disease

Sample Communication Program:
Awareness of Alzheimer's
Disease Signs & Symptoms
Among Seniors in Illinois

Jane Smallwood
Benedictine University
MPH 688: Media, Technology, and Public Health
7 August 2013

****Please Note: This is for a school project, this is not an actual program available to the public!
What is Alzheimer's Disease?
- Most commonly seen form of dementia (memory impairment); 50-80%
- Limited Treatments (medications); no cure
- Plaques and Tangles (unwanted protein clumps) gather in the brain and affect functioning
- 2 major risk factors: increasing age (especially over 65) and family history
- Awareness of Signs/Symptoms is Key!
Communication Strategies
Social Cognitive Theory:
- Intrapersonal
- Those closest to the person with undiagnosed dementia will notice the signs/symptoms

Media:
- Community groups (senior groups/church groups)
- Face-to-face/written messages
- Television
Implementation
Who is Involved
3 Program Staff Members/IDPH Employees
2 Public Health Interns
2 Lead Volunteers from the Alz. Association
2 Major Partner (Alzheimer's Association
of Illinois & Benedictine University)
1 Grant-Writer
1 CEO of Major Insurance Company (Funding)
Steps Involved
12 Month Program
Month 1: Initial meeting of group
creating/running
Months 1-3: Partner with outside
organizations
Months 2-3: Creation of actual
communication program
Months 4-11: Program implemented
(meetings and on television)
Month 12: Evaluation of the
program's success
Goal
To promote and increase the overall awareness of the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease among the older adult population (65 years and older) without a current diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease/dementia in the state of Illinois.
Objective #1
By December of 2014, 100% of adults aged 65 and up without a current diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease/dementia in the state of Illinois will have been contacted with information about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
Objective #2
By December of 2014, 25% of adults aged 65 and up without a current diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease/dementia in the state of Illinois will have attended an in-person informational session on recognizing the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease in others
Signs/Symptoms
- Early Stages: Mild cognitive decline/impairment; memory impirments; difficult to detect at this point

- Middle Stages: Moderate cognitive/memory impairments; individual now requires assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs)

- Late Stages: Severe cognitive/memory impairments; person requires extensive to total assist with ADLs
Target Population
- Persons over the age of 65 that do not have a current diagnosis of dementia in the state of Illinois

- Only 4% of those with Alzheimer's Disease are under 65-years-old
Evaluation Plan
Objective #3
By December of 2014, 50% of adults aged 65 and up without a current diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease/dementia in the state of Illinois will be aware of the signs and symptoms Alzheimer’s Disease
Overall Message Presented: an earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease is better throughout the entire process/progression of the disease; family and peers are the best source of noticing the signs/symptoms
Total Budget: $25,000 (Grants from the Alzheimer's Association of Illinois & a major insurance company)
Measure the success of the program
Help to ensure continuation of program
Observe/Change any inconsistencies,
errors, or negative factors
Compare data
Credible Evidence
- Data collected/analyzed by public health interns from Benedictine University

- Document Reviews
and Surveys

- Use 4 evaluation questions to measure success
Evaluation Design
Outcome Type - to show success through hard data
Empowerment Approach - to encourage continued & new participation
Quasi-Experimental Design - not random; use data about older adults in other states
4 Evaluation Questions
1) Have all older adults in Illinois been contacted with information about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease?
2) Have 25% of Illinois' older adults attended an in-person informational session?
3) Are 50% of Illinois' older adults aware of the signs/symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease?
4) Are IL older adults more aware of Alzheimer's signs/symptoms than those in states without the program?
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