APA participation in national aging efforts

Assuring that psychology is represented.

APA is a member of multiple coalitions to assure the inclusion of psychology in national aging-related efforts. Deborah DiGilio, MPH, represents APA on the governing boards of National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, the Eldercare Workforce Alliance and the National Alliance for Caregiving.

In addition to participation on its executive board, APA hosts the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging. Presenters at recent meetings included: Paolo del Vecchio, MSW, director, Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA; Laura M. Galbreath, MPP, director, SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions; Joseph Lugo, Administration for Community Living; and, Rahul Rajkumar, MD, JD, FACP, senior advisor, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) Innovation Center.    

This year, APA is an organizational supporter of National Memory Screening Day, an initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. As a condition of our participation, their website was made more inclusive of psychologists. Also, APA is involved in the CMS National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes. To inform this CMS effort of the wealth of psychological research on behavioral and environmental interventions for dementia, the APA Psychological Services in Long-term Care Resource Guide (PDF, 196KB) was updated and provided. It is now included on the CMS resources webpage.  

APA was also represented at the October 2013, National Summit on OTC Sleep Aids and Sleep Health in Older Adults convened by the Gerontological Society of America. The summit was intended to raise understanding of issues and risks related to sleep and OTC sleep aid use in older adults, and to frame future efforts. Deborah DiGilio, director of the Office on Aging was invited to serve on the summit’s reactor panel. She called for more attention to psychological interventions for sleep disorders and the need for interdisciplinary teams to collaborate to address patients’ sleep issues holistically, including referrals to sleep specialists when appropriate.