The Alzheimer’s Association, Kentucky Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and Kentucky Association for Gerontology are hosting Advocacy Day on Thursday, February 23, 2017, in room 113 at the Capitol Annex building in Frankfort to bring awareness to the increased occurrences of Alzheimer’s disease as well as other dementias.
They will address the need to bring awareness to the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and the vital importance of aging services for Kentucky seniors, caregivers and our communities.
The three organizations and hundreds of advocates will seek critical supports and services for ALL seniors and their caregivers. Alongside their advocates, the Alzheimer’s Association will spend the day at the state capitol discussing with legislators the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on Kentucky residents. According to the Association’s 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, there are nearly 70,000 people living with Alzheimer’s and 270,000 caregivers in Kentucky. The number of Kentucky residents living with the disease is projected to jump to 86,000 by 2025.
Advocacy Day will provide opportunities for advocates to meet face-to-face with their state elected officials and share their personal stories of how Alzheimer’s has impacted their lives, both professional and personal, and emphasize to state policymakers the need for programs and services that support families as they care for their loved ones. Alzheimer’s has far reaching effects that can plague entire families. During 2015, 270,000 friends and family members provided 307 million hours of unpaid care valued at nearly $3.8 billion in the Commonwealth.
“Sharing stories of the toll this disease takes on individuals, families and communities help law makers see firsthand the need for ongoing supports and services in Kentucky,” said Bari Lewis, director of community outreach for the Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana chapter. “Economic impact is obviously a focus for state legislators. We want them to understand that a pro-active approach to the maintenance and improvement of vital services for our most vulnerable populations can have a positive impact on healthcare and business in Kentucky.”
Alzheimer’s continues to be the most expensive condition in the nation. The total national cost of caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias reached $236 billion in 2016. In Kentucky, that translated to $166 million (2015) in higher health care costs for caregivers and $664 million (2016) in costs to Medicaid. State governments are increasingly on the front lines in addressing the Alzheimer’s crisis, the care and support needs of families facing the disease and its impact on local economies. To find out more about the local advocacy program, visit alz.org/kyin.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit www.alz.org or call 800.272.3900.