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Alzheimer’s Association, AARP, Gerontolgy association hold Advocacy Day in Frankfort

Alzheimer’s Association®, AARP Kentucky, and the Kentucky Association for Gerontology hosted an Advocacy Day at the Capitol Annex building in Frankfort to bring awareness to the increased occurrences of Alzheimer’s disease as well as other dementias.

The three organizations and over 100 advocates met with or left informational packets for, all 138 Kentucky senators and representatives. Meetings were focused on the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, the escalating number of family caregivers throughout the state and the vital importance of aging services for Kentucky seniors, caregivers, and our communities.

Each year Advocacy Day provides 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.

“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 Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter. “Economic impact is obviously a focus for state legislators. We want them to understand that a proactive 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.”

The day also provides constituents the opportunity to hear from legislators through a Q&A panel.

This year’s panel included State Senators Julie Raque Adams and Ralph Alvarado and advocates were also treated to a visit and remarks from Kentucky’s current Lieutenant Governor, Jenean Hampton.

According to the Association’s 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, there are 71,000 people living with Alzheimer’s in Kentucky. The number of Kentucky residents living with the disease is projected to jump to 86,000 by 2025. Alzheimer’s has far-reaching effects that can plague entire families. During 2017, 272,000 friends and family members provided 310 million hours of unpaid care valued at over $3.9 billion in the Commonwealth. To find out more about the local advocacy program, visit alz.org/kyin.

From the Alzheimer’s Association

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