Having been through this experience, and now having lost my mom, I feel more compelled than ever to advocate, ADVOCATE, A-D-V-O-C-A-T-E!! Those of us who have suffered the wrath of Alzheimer’s or related dementias owe it to those who come after us to do what we can to advance the Alzheimer’s agenda in this country.
The Ohio Council of the Alzheimer’s Association is made up of the seven Association Chapters in the State of Ohio and exists to advance Alzheimer’s initiatives at the state and federal levels. The Council’s web page is a great source of information regarding upcoming events as well as a list of state and federal public policy priorities.
Are you educated on our government’s plans and priorities concerning Alzheimer’s and related dementia? There’s a lot going on, and our support is needed!
- The (Ohio) Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (H.B. 27), passed December 20, 2012. This bill will simplify and standardize the process of obtaining guardianship across state lines, which is critical for families who are in crisis but do not have advanced directives in place.
- (Ohio) Alzheimer’s Respite Programs and Services (Budget Line Item 490-414) provide funding for respite care, which can be a true lifesaver for full time caregivers.
- The National Alzheimer’s Plan, unanimously signed into law in January, 2011, aims to enhance quality of care, expand support services for those suffering from the disease and their families, increase awareness, improve analytics, and most importantly “prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.” This is an ambitious agenda, but one that we must push forward.
- The Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act (H.R. 1897), if passed, will make Alzheimer’s research a priority for the National Institutes of Health. Did you know that for every $28,000 the federal government spends on care for Alzheimer’s disease patients, it only spends $100 on Alzheimer’s disease research.
Consider this: If there were a treatment that would delay the onset of the disease by just five years, it would reduce government spending on Alzheimer’s care by nearly 50%. Without a viable treatment, over the next forty years the estimated cost for care in America is $20 trillion, including $15 trillion to Medicare and Medicaid. Sound like this needs to be a priority??
- The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 738/ H.R. 1386), if passed, will provide for early diagnosis and access to care planning services leading to better outcomes for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.