The Alzheimer’s Association--Greater Kentucky & Southern Indiana invites you to become an Alzheimer advocate. Join us and speak up for the needs and rights of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.
Alzheimer advocates play an important role in improving the quality of care and quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families by working to improve dementia care and services; improve access to community-based care; improve quality care in residential settings; and expand funding for research and public programs serving people with dementia.
As an advocate, you will:
What is an Advocacy Ambassador?
Ambassadors are grassroots volunteers who serve as the main point of in-district contact for a targeted member of Congress. Ambassadors play a critical role in advocating for Alzheimer’s federal legislative goals. They work directly with national and chapter staff on federal advocacy activities.
We are currently seeking Ambassadors for
Please contact the Greater KY and Southern Indiana Chapter office if you would like to volunteer or would like more information.
Advocates win victories in securing Alzheimer’s questions in annual state public health surveys. In 2012, Kentucky’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey will include 10 questions on cognitive impairment. Indiana’s BRFSS will include these cognitive impairment questions and a family caregiving module. This new state-level data will help the research, caregiving and public health communities and the general public better understand our population with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s; and identify opportunities for reducing the impact of this devastating disease. In addition, advocates can use this new data to motivate policy makers to address the problem.
Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day at the State Capitol: January, 2012
With the theme, “Voices of Alzheimer’s”, advocates descended on the Capitol, meeting with legislators and rallying in the Rotunda for vital services to help Alzheimer’s families. Colmon Elridge, Executive Assistant to the Governor presented greetings and offered his support for individuals with Alzheimer’s.
Speakers Al and Barbara Webb spoke from the heart and used their voices to share their experience of living with Alzheimer’s. They were joined by Miss Kentucky Ann Blair Thornton, UK Women’s Basketball Associate Head Coach Kyra Elzy, and Bike4Alz WKU student Tyler Jury in calling for Frankfort leaders to take action for Kentuckians with Alzheimer’s and their families.
2012 Phyllis George Outstanding Caregiver-Advocate Award was presented to Warren Bocard of Ashland in recognition of his extraordinary dedication to The overwhelming impact of this disease on caregivers and presented the to Betty Higgins of Lexington. Western Kentucky University Junior, Tyler Jury, and fellow student members of the Fiji’s Across America talked about their 3,200 mile cross-country bicycle trip for Alzheimer’s and inspired everyone to action.
The message to state officials is clear and sobering…Alzheimer’s disease is growing in its impact on Kentucky’s health and care systems and on families caring for those with the disease. Our state leaders need to help through adoption of policies and programs to support those living with Alzheimer’s.
Kentucky 2012 State Legislative Session Highlights
Budget: Our advocacy efforts this year focused on preserving state programs from cuts slated in the proposed KY state biennium budget. With 19,000 people on waiting lists for aging and independent living services, we urged our lawmakers not to cut Alzheimer’s respite, adult day, meals, in-home care, family caregiver support and other community-based services, vital to those living with Alzheimer’s.
Thanks to grassroots advocacy and the work of Rep. Jimmie Lee, of Elizabethtown, the legislature added $10 million to the budget for senior meals, adult guardianship, and supports for community living. And the legislature did not make cuts to the Governor’s original Medicaid even-funded budget proposal. These were major victories in a budget year with cuts many other government areas.
House Resolution 25 urges police officers, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, sheriffs, and the state police annually to provide dementia training.
Golden Alert expansion enables officials to use Golden Alerts to help find missing persons with developmental disabilities, autism and traumatic brain injury in addition to persons with Alzheimer’s and cognitive impairment.
Screening of prospective residents of personal care homes (PCH’s) and expansion of special care unit (SCU) disclosure: requires prospective PCH residents to be assessed by a medical professional prior to admission and prohibits persons under age 18 from PCHs.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s) will be allowed to provide on-campus home health care. Rep. Damron of Nicholasville sponsored this measure, with co-sponsors Reps. Crenshaw and Palumbo of Lexington. There are approximately 25 CCRCs in KY. The certificate of need (CON) process is waived for CCRC home health services.
The following bills did not pass:
Medical Scope of Treatment to permit individuals with their physicians to complete medical orders directing end of life treatment
Nursing Home Medical Review Panels to establish a medical review panel system for use in civil litigation relating to long-term-care facilities. It would require malpractice claims against nursing homes to be reviewed by medical review panels (unless they go to binding arbitration).
Adult Abuse Registry to require State Cabinet for Health and Family Services to implement a registry of individuals with substantiated allegations of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation and require adult institutional and community-based long-term care service providers to not employ individuals on the this registry.
National and state background check program for long-term care providers. State received federal grant to fund this program for 3 years and will administratively implement the program for prospective employees in adult institutional and community-based care settings pursuant to grant procedures.
Share Your Story!
Contact your state legislator about important Alzheimer's issues. Here is the link for the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission for information about the state legislature and how to find and contact your legislators: www.lrc.state.ky.us
Indiana: Drafting of the Indiana State Alzheimer’s Plan Making Progress
The Governor’s Task Force has completed its information-gathering and public input phases, and is beginning deliberations for the report and recommendations. Workgroups are focusing on: public awareness, early detection, care and case management, quality of care, health systems capacity, training, home and community care, health care workforce development, unpaid caregivers, long-term care, research, brain health, data collection, safety, legal issues, and state government structure. The target date for completion is the Fall 2012.
Alzheimer’s Association public policy priorities for Indiana can be viewed by clicking here.
Chapter advocates from Kentucky and southern Indiana join with hundreds of others from across the country at the annual Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C. each spring. We meet with our members of Congress and their staff to personally express:
Mark your calendar: Plan to attend the next Advocacy Forum, April 22-24, 2013. This is an opportunity to learn about key policy priorities and meet face-to-face with your Members of Congress to educate them about Alzheimer's disease and its potentially devastating effect on our country's economy, businesses and citizens.
Contact our Chapter at 502 451-4266 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.