A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Alzheimer’s advocates to ‘Turn the Kentucky State Capitol Purple’ to raise awareness March 15

Alzheimer’s Association, AARP Kentucky, and the Kentucky Association for Gerontology are hosting Advocacy Day to bring awareness to the increased occurrences of Alzheimer’s disease as well as other dementias. Hundreds will gather on Thursday, March 15, 2018, in room 113 at the Capitol Annex building in Frankfort. These groups will address the escalating number of family caregivers throughout the state 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. The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Kentucky and Southern Indian Chapter and their advocates 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 2017 Alzheimer’s disease Facts and Figures report, there are more than 71,000 people living with Alzheimer’s and 271,000 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 2017, 271,000 friends and family members provided 308 million hours of unpaid care valued at over $3.9 billion in the Commonwealth.
“Sharing stories of the toll this disease takes on individuals, families, and communities help lawmakers see firsthand the need for ongoing supports and services in Kentucky,” said Bari Lewis, director of community outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association 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 $259 billion in 2017. In Kentucky, that translated to $177 million in higher health care costs for caregivers and $685 million 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.

From Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment