Nina Silverstein was one of 40 experts worldwide who contributed to a ground-breaking new study of innovation in dementia treatment, prevention and care across the world’s largest developed countries.
“Dementia has no borders,” said Silverstein, a professor of Gerontology at the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston. “Addressing the challenges of living with dementia while researching prevention, treatment and ultimate cures takes innovation and commitment on a global level.”
The new Dementia Innovation Readiness Index was developed as a platform for sharing and collaboration among policy makers, scientists, academics, advocates and business leaders around the world. The index was launched by the Global Coalition on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Disease International. It was presented this week at the 32nd International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International in Kyoto, Japan.
The first-ever index measures the current capacity of countries to adopt and deploy innovative methods to help people with dementia, highlighting novel approaches and processes around the world. The index covers a range of issues related to living with dementia and identifies mechanisms that would aid or impede innovation.
Silverstein’s contribution to the global assessment focused on the transportation needs of people with dementia, most of whom live in their communities alone or with family members for the duration of the disease process that can extend 15 years or longer.
“Impairments in critical driving skills are likely apparent within one to three years,” said Silverstein. “Models of supportive transportation options are needed that provide a level of assistance from ‘to’ to ‘through’ the door to enable people to continue to be engaged in daily life destinations.”