Point32Health prioritizes support for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers

November 2023 | Population Health

November is Alzheimer’s Disease awareness month, and more than six million Americans are currently living with this disease. And while the patient themselves is suffering from Alzheimer’s, their families or support systems are also strained due to this illness. With more than 11 million people acting as unpaid caregivers for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, accessible care support for both patient and caregiver is critical.

In an effort to better support members of our health plans, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, Point32Health has multiple support options for members caring for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s and other memory-related disease.

Point32Health dementia care coordination program

Recognizing the growing need for more comprehensive care for our members suffering from Alzheimer’s and other memory-related disease, Point32Health became the first health plan in the region to launch a Dementia Care Consultation Program. Our program currently has two dementia care consultants working to get resources to members, colleagues and their families. To date, the program has helped more than 4,000 members.

The Point32Health Dementia Care Consultation Program empowers caregivers through education, resource navigation and emotional support. Our dementia care consultants are licensed social workers who consult with primary caregivers or families to provide education about dementia, the disease process and what to expect, and talk through safety considerations, symptom management strategies and behavior management strategies. They help caregivers navigate to community resources including in-home care, adult day programs and alternative housing like assisted living facilities or long-term care if needed. The consultants support future planning by helping caregivers map out the next steps, and they can provide brief supportive counseling to help manage caregiver stress.

Wellthy for Alzheimer’s caregiver support

While the Point32Health Dementia Care Consultation Program is robust, we offer additional support resources for members caring for people suffering from Alzheimer’s and many other illnesses.

In January 2023, Point32Health colleagues, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care commercial members and Tufts Health Plan commercial members gained access to the comprehensive caregiver support tool Wellthy. Wellthy delivers a wide array of services aimed at caregivers to help protect their own health and unburden them from the administrative and time-consuming tasks of caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Wellthy’s tailored support is delivered via both professional, human expertise and a digital platform to help individuals and families plan and organize care, get things done, and connect with other caregivers. Coverage for these services extends beyond family members on the plan to include care for all of a member’s loved ones.

When a caregiver begins their relationship with Wellthy, they are matched with a care coordinator who will get to know the family’s unique situation, map out a care plan, advocate on the patient’s behalf, and take on the multiple, complex tasks that can come with caregiving. The care coordinator also provides hands-on support with any administrative and logistical care issues, and helps families navigate financial, medical, legal, in-home, housing and social/emotional needs.

In making multiple caregiving support tools available to our members with loved ones fighting Alzheimer’s Disease, Point32Health is taking another step towards supporting the whole health of our whole member population.