Conquering Alzheimer’s is as much a matter of public policy as scientific discovery, and we need your help to change the future of this devastating disease.
As an advocate, you will be invited to engage public officials and policymakers in a variety of ways, urging their support for critical Alzheimer's legislation and policy changes. Whether you prefer sending emails to legislators, posting updates to Facebook, or hosting events or even meeting in-person with your elected officials, there are many ways you can make a difference as an Alzheimer's Association Advocate.
Alzheimer's is a devastating disease that cannot be ignored by federal policymakers. Our goal is to see that the federal government takes bold action now to confront this growing crisis. Urge your elected officials to enact public policies that provide better health and long-term coverage to ensure high-quality, cost-effective care for the millions of people who face this disease every day. Learn more
2018-2019 National State Policy Priorities
Since 2007, nearly every state has developed a State Alzheimer's Disease Plan to address to growing economic and social impact of the disease. These comprehensive plans identify critical issues, recommend solutions, and create a roadmap to guide a state's development into a dementia-capable state. State legislatures and state agencies must fully implement the recommendations included in their state's Alzheimer's disease plan and revisit and re-publish their plans every three to five years to ensure they are kept up to date and account for current needs and recent developments.
People with Alzheimer’s deserve quality care throughout the course of the disease — and they deserve to receive it from knowledgeable professionals across the care continuum. All individuals employed to provide care in residential, home, and adult day settings must be properly trained in dementia care. Yet training standards vary widely by state. For example, less than half of all states require dementia training for staff of nursing homes, and less than one-fifth of states require it for adult day staff. As the number of people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias increases, states must have adequate dementia- training laws to equip workers across the care continuum with the ability to provide person and family-centered care, communicate effectively with persons with dementia, and address specific and unique aspects of care and safety for people with dementia.
Fewer than half of all people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or their caregivers, are aware of the diagnosis. Early detection and diagnosis — and knowing of the diagnosis — are essential to ensuring the best medical care and outcomes for those affected by the disease. Healthy People 2020 has set the goal of increasing the percentage of individuals with the disease or their caregivers who are aware of the diagnosis.
There is a growing scientific consensus that regular physical activity, management of certain cardiovascular risk factors (such as diabetes, smoking, and hypertension) and avoidance of traumatic brain injury can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Studies show these factors may also reduce the risk of dementia. Especially in the absence of a disease-modifying treatment, public health action must be taken to increase public awareness and education about known and potentially modifiable risk factors of cognitive decline and dementia.
Among individuals with Alzheimer’s, 75 percent will be admitted to a nursing home by the age of 80. As a result, Medicaid is critical for many people with Alzheimer’s. While Medicaid spending constitutes one of the largest items in most state budgets — and most states continue to face severe fiscal constraints — state policymakers must ensure that critical benefits are preserved.
For more information on these issues, please contact:
Melissa Sanchez, J.D.
Director - Texas State Public Policy
Advocates Charles and Connie Assiff, along with Alzheimer's Association staff members Delia Jervier and John Harris, meet with Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX36) in his Washington, DC office during the 2018 AIM Advocacy Forum held this past June.
The Alzheimer's Association - Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter needs your help! We are currently looking for Advocacy Team Mates for the following local Congressman:
No matter what district you live in, there is always a way to advocate on behalf of the Alzheimer's Association with your local elected leaders. All you have to do is call John Harris, Director - Texas Federal Public Policy at 713-314-1341 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you are unsure of who your Congressman is go to www.House.gov for more information.
Houston & Southeast Texas
6055 South Loop East
Houston, TX 77087-1005