Advocates Make Memory Day A Memorable Experience
Memory Day 2013
Alzheimer advocates from across Ohio made their voices heard during the 15th annual Ohio Memory Day at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Wednesday, April 10. A record number of advocates (nearly 360) participated in the event, sponsored by the Ohio Council of the Alzheimer's Association.
Gov. John Kasich, Ohio Department of Aging Director Dr. Bonnie Kantor-Burman and House Speaker William Batchelder were among the featured speakers at the luncheon program held in the statehouse atrium. Each expressed their commitment to the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and supporting programs that will help affected individuals and their caregivers.
Memory Day provides Alzheimer’s advocates from across the state the opportunity to meet with their legislators as well as fellow advocates in support of the Alzheimer’s Association advocacy mission. The legislative focus of this year's event is protection of the Alzheimer’s Respite Line Item (ARLI).
Advocacy Forum Draws Record Crowd
The Alzheimer’s Association 25th Annual Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C. attracted a record 900-plus attendees representing all 50 states, Great Britain and Canada. The three-day event, held April 22-24, included various panel discussions and presentations on public policy issues, a gala dinner and office visits with members of Congress on Capitol Hill.
Forum keynote speaker Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), made the surprise announcement that he has designated an additional $40 million from his fiscal year 2013 director’s budget for Alzheimer’s research. He told the Forum audience that within the research community “an accelerated momentum in Alzheimer’s research is palpable.”
Among the highlights of the Forum was the presentation of the Sargent and Eunice Shriver Profiles in Dignity Award to singer/actor Glen Campbell and his family during the dinner gala on April 23. Mr. Campbell’s daughter, Ashley, testified about her father’s affliction during a hearing of the Senate Aging Committee the next day.
During visits with their respective congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, advocates promoted the implementation of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act and increasing the federal commitment to Alzheimer’s research. In addition, advocates requested support for the Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act (S.709 /H.R. 1507). The HOPE Act would improve access to diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, provide information on medical and non-medical services for newly-diagnosed patients and their families as well as require documentation of the diagnosis in the patient’s medical record.
For more on the Forum, visit www.alz.org/forum.
2013 Public Policy Priorities
Alzheimer's Respite Programs and Services (Budget Line Item 490-414)
- The Alzheimer's Respite Line Item 490-414 (Department of Aging) provides funding for respite and respite related services for caregivers and those with Alzheimer's disease.
Additional 2013 Priorities
- For an entire list of the Ohio Council priorities for 2013, click here.
National Alzheimer's Plan
- In January, 2011 the National Alzheimer's Plan (Public Law 111-375) was signed into law with a unanimous vote from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This law evolved into the first National Alzheimer's Plan which was released on May 15, 2012. The plan detailed five overarching goals:
- Prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's disease by 2025.
- Enhance care quality and efficiency.
- Expand supports for people with Alzheimer's disease and their families.
- Enhance public awareness and engagement.
- Improve data to track progress.
- The National Alzheimer's Plan required the creation of an Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care and Services which meets periodically with an annual requirement of reporting back to Congress updates and revisions pertaining to each goal on an annual basis. With these goals in mind, it is important that our legislators know the importance of continued funding necessary to develop treatments through research while also caring for those touched by the disease on a daily basis. For more information regarding the National Alzheimer's Plan, click here.
HOPE for Alzheimer's Act
- The Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act (S. 709/ H.R. 1507) provides for early diagnosis and access to care planning services that lead to better outcomes for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. This act, if passed would provide Medicare coverage which would include a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and care planning to provide newly-diagnosed individuals and their caregivers with information about medical and non-medical options for treatment and support. For more detailed information regarding the HOPE Act, click here.
Now is the time to be a voice for those suffering with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. If Alzheimer's disease continues on it's current path, it is estimated that up to 16 million Americans will have this disease by 2050. Being an advocate will keep you informed of current and upcoming legislation that is designed to help increase the awareness of Alzheimer's disease, make Alzheimer's a priority for research funding and help families through support and other resources as they journey through this devastating disease. Once you have registered as an advocate, you will receive periodic e-mails with updated information and action alerts. The action alerts will request you send an e-mail or letter to your legislator to ask for their support. It is important to supply your address information which allows us to connect you directly with your legislator. To become an advocate, register by clicking here.