FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA — (February 14, 2013) — The Lewy Body Dementia Association is proud to announce its support of the Pre-Filing of Senate Bill 14, creating a Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force. On Thursday, December 20, Senator Renee Unterman held a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol. Senator Unterman stated that the purpose of the press conference was “…the introduction of the legislation creating a state wide task force establishment to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease in the state of Georgia. It will examine the existing industries, services, and resources addressing the needs of Georgians afflicted with the disease and its effect on their families. It will develop a strategy to mobilize a state response to this public health crisis.”
“LBDA applauds Senator Unterman’s Pre-Filing Senate Bill 14, as it brings home to Georgia a greater focus on neurocognitive disorders like Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer’s,” stated Angela Taylor, LBDA’s Director of Programs. “With more than 30 states developing similar plans in response to the national Alzheimer’s plan, families struggling with cognitive disorders like Lewy body dementia will ultimately have greater access to resources at the community level.”
The bill includes recognition by the General Assembly that:
• Alzheimer’s is a looming national public health crisis that impacts every state
• It is important for Georgia to
o assess its ability to provide appropriate and necessary programs and services to Georgia’s citizens living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias;
o determine where Georgia is doing well;
o determine where gaps may exist;
o determine where private sector, public sector, nonprofit and faith-based communities resources may be leveraged to ensure that Georgia grows to be fully dementia-capable.
• That access to quality health care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and the rising cost of such care are vitally important to the citizens of Georgia.
The bill creates the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force, for the purpose of:
• Studying and collecting information and data to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease on Georgia’s citizens;
• To examine the existing industries, services, and resources addressing the needs of persons with Alzheimer’s disease, their families, and caregivers;
• To review the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease; and
• To develop a strategy to mobilize a state response to Alzheimer’s and related dementias as a public health crisis by creating a state plan.
The proposed State Plan Task force will be chaired by the director of the Division of Aging Services, and includes the Commissioner of Community Health or his or her designee, the State Health Officer or his or her designee, the Chairperson of the House Committee on Health and Human Services, the Chairperson of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and the Chairperson of the House Committee on Human Relations and Aging. The Task Force shall invite other advisory members to assist the committee and may consider the following in making its selection. This membership includes individuals with Alzheimer’s and a related dementia and their caregivers, members of the various care services industries, a medical provider, a researcher, law enforcement personnel, and members from the public, private and non-profit sectors, voluntary health organizations, and the faith-based community.
At a minimum, the State Plan shall include the following:
1. Trends in state Alzheimer’s and related dementias population and needs, including the changing population with dementia;
2. Existing services, resources, and capacity;
3. Needed state policies or responses, including but not limited to directions for the provision of clear and coordinated services and support to persons and families living with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders and strategies to address any identified gaps in services;
4. Ways in which state and local agencies, private sector, quasi-governmental, voluntary health organizations, the faith community and nonprofit organizations can collaborate and work together to form a seamless network of education, support, and other needed services to those living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families;
5. A review of, at a minimum, eighteen specific areas of concern.
The task force shall issue a state plan which shall include proposed legislation, if any, to the Governor and General Assembly on or before March 31, 2014. Upon abolishment of the task force, the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Advisory Council shall be created, with the same membership as the original State Plan Task Force. The Advisory Council shall meet at least annually to review the progress of the State Plan and to make any recommendations for changes as well as to recommend any legislation needed to implement the Plan.
How Can You Support the Passage of Senate Bill 14?
Join the Lewy Body Dementia Association for Senior Week at the Georgia State Capitol on Wednesday, February 27, and Thursday, February 28, 2013, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.EST Organized by the Georgia Council on Aging. Please visit LBDA’s booth in the rotunda.
If you are interested in receiving Georgia advocacy opportunities from LBDA please sign up here.
The Lewy Body Dementia Association
The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the Lewy body dementias (LBD), supporting patients, their families and caregivers, and promoting scientific advances. Through outreach, education and research, LBDA supports those affected by Lewy body dementias. To learn more about LBD and LBDA please visit www.lbda.org.
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