Officials with the Iowa Department on Aging are scrapping a program to improve training for the care of patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia to meet the state budget cut. Department director John McCalley says the legislature ordered the department to establish training standards for dementia care, but with available money.
McCalley says the bill directed the department to develop these standards within the appropriations that are available to the department, and “clearly the appropriations are no longer available to the department.” McCalley says it was either eliminate the program, or cut services for senior citizens.
McCalley says, “It breaks my heart to have to do this to the dementia education standards project, but if you ask members of the general assembly if they want us to develop standards or cut meals to an older adult, I think they’d want us to continue the direct services instead.” The state will cancel its contract with the Alzheimer’s Association which had been developing the training standards. McCalley says the association has expressed doubt that it will continue the work without state funding.