Closing the dementia care gap: Can referral to Alzheimer's Association chapters help?

Alzheimers Dement. 2009 Nov;5(6):498-502. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2009.01.024.


The quality of care provided by primary-care physicians for patients with dementia remains poor, in part because physicians do not provide counseling and education. Local Alzheimer's Association chapters have the potential to improve the quality of care provided for dementia, but are hampered by a lack of referrals from primary-care physicians. Many physicians remain unaware of the services available through Alzheimer's Association chapters, but recognize the need to provide support to families, ensure patient safety, and manage behavioral problems. At present, systems to promote referrals and communication with local chapters are lacking. Practice redesign may facilitate linkages between practices and Alzheimer's Association chapters. However, if these linkages are to be adopted and sustained, they must demonstrate a relative advantage to physicians beyond the care they currently provide, and must be compatible with how care is currently delivered in their practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / nursing
  • Alzheimer Disease / rehabilitation
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Caregivers / statistics & numerical data
  • Caregivers / trends
  • Community-Institutional Relations / trends
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Accessibility / trends*
  • Health Services for the Aged / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services for the Aged / trends
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Associations / organization & administration*
  • Organization and Administration / statistics & numerical data
  • Physicians, Family / statistics & numerical data
  • Physicians, Family / trends*
  • Quality of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Health Care / trends
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Referral and Consultation / trends*