We Applaud State Senator Renee Unterman’s Pre-Filing Senate Bill 14, Creating the 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.”
In referencing key Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures, she further stated that, “In 2007, the Georgia Medicaid program was the primary payer for 74% of nursing facility residents, and total state Medical long term care spending for older people and adults with physical disabilities exceeded one billion dollars. Even if individuals pay initially for their own long term care, most will deplete their assets and meet Medicaid eligibility standards in a short period of time because of the cost of care.”
“These are daunting statistics for the state of Georgia budget that is already strained due to the long stance of the current recession. Georgia must be prepared with an active plan to share the burden of taking care of its citizens who are likely to require government assistance in the final stages of their lives due to the effects of dementia. Whether those services are provided in-home, community based, or in a nursing home type facility, Georgia must be ready to improve its health care infrastructure. I challenge the Departments of Human Services and Aging, the Department of Public Health, the Executive branch and General Assembly to actively participate in developing this plan by approving this legislation.”
The bill includes recognition by the General Assembly that:
The bill creates the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force, for the purpose of:
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:
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 You Can Advocate for the Passage of Senate Bill 14
There are two very specific actions you can take to advocate for passage of Senate Bill 14.
8:30 - 9:30 AM Awareness Day Registration—Central Presbyterian Church (CPC)
9:00 AM Alzheimer's Awareness Day Kickoff--CPC
10:00 AM--Tentative Full Group Photo with Governor--Time TBD based upon Governor's Schedule—photo on South Wing Capitol Steps (Inside)
10:30 AM - 3:00 PM Appointments with legislators/calling legislators out of session/House or Senate Gallery when not in meetings-- Capitol
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Lunch with Legislators--advocates and legislators drop in for lunch at CPC as their schedules permit
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM State Plan Rally/Candlelight Vigil--outside, Washington Street Side of Capitol
We will also be advocating to strengthen Georgia’s already Strong Adult Guardianship laws, and to ensure that there are no cuts to Alzheimer’s Respite Funding.
There is no cost to register for/attend Alzheimer’s Awareness Day at the Georgia State Capitol—but, you must register in advance in order for us to have an accurate head count for lunch and t-shirts, and in order for us to schedule appointments with your legislators for you. Registration is limited, due to church Fire Code, to the first 400 people who register. CLICK HERE to register to attend our 2013 Alzheimer's Awareness Day at the Georgia State Capitol.
To equip you to speak with your legislator, and to enable you to develop confidence in discussing the issues, we are offering Awareness Day Training opportunities across the state.
Just in case you are not able to attend one of the regional trainings, we will also offer three on-line training opportunities. If you register for one of these, we will send the webinar information, call in number and pin number just a few days prior to the scheduled call:
Can't attend Awareness Day or one of the trainings, but still want to help? CHECK BACK HERE SOON, to sign our on-line petition to ask Georgia Legislators to support Senate Bill 14--the creation of a task force to create a Georgia Alzheimer's and Related Dementias State Plan.
Interested Looking Up Federal or State Legislation? These two sites will help:
For Federal Legislation:
For Georgia Legislation:
To check the status of a bill in the Georgia Legislature, or to see a photo of your GA state senator or GA state representative, go to: www.legis.state.ga.us. On the left-hand menu bar, click on "Search Legislation" to find a specific bill. On the same menu bar, click on "Picture Book," to find a photo of your legislator. It sometimes takes a little time for the picture book to be updated during the first year of the two-year session.