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On February 25 the Alzheimer’s Association hosted our annual Advocacy Day in Olympia. Advocates visited the offices of all 147 legislators to talk about issues affecting those touched by Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
See how our Powerful Voices Motivated Olympia.

Public Policy Town Halls & Seminars 2014

In August 2014, across Washington State and Northern Idaho, the Alzheimer’s Association held Town Hall meetings and Seminars to highlight—and solicit feedback on—public policy priorities. These include the National Alzheimer’s Plan, the Alzheimer’s Disease Plan for Washington State, and Voices for Better Health. Our report found that eleven key issues emerged from public input at the Town Halls:

  1. The public lacks awareness.

  2. Physicians have difficulties with diagnosis.

  3. Dementia care is poor.

  4. Pre-conceived ideas create challenges for those with younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

  5. Caregivers and families are unprepared and overwhelmed.

  6. The costs are unaffordable.

  7. Care coordination is needed.

  8. Secure respite care is needed along with solutions for personal and public safety.

  9. Alzheimer’s-related statistics are under-reported or mischaracterized.

  10. The Alzheimer’s community resources need to reflect more diversity.

  11. More information is needed about non-medical therapies and interventions.

The Chapter’s* will use input on these issues gathered at Town Halls to inform our work on the Washington State Alzheimer’s Disease Plan.

Washington State Alzheimer’s Disease Plan

On March 27, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed Substitute Senate Bill 6124, providing legislative authorization to begin the important work of developing an Alzheimer’s Disease Plan for Washington State.advocacy

Alzheimer’s disease is a public health epidemic, and a State Alzheimer’s Disease Plan is a critical step in preparing Washington State to meet the needs of the thousands of Washingtonians who are and will be affected by this progressive, fatal disease.

Under Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), a diverse group has been selected for a working group to develop the plan.

Bob LeRoy, Executive Director of the Western & Central Washington, was selected as Chair of the subcommittee dealing with long-term services and supports, and is joined by 12 additional representatives of the Alzheimer’s Association working in the 33 subcommittees.

The first of a series of public meetings of the working group was held on September 4, 2014, at the Aging and Long-Term Support administration Office in Lacey. Details about this and future meetings may be found here.

Advocate for Dual Eligibles: Voices for Better Health Washington State

The purpose of this project is to advance care and establish a strong voice for over 126,000 Washingtonians who are dual eligible (“duals”)—individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Many duals are living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and tend to be poorer, sicker, and more dependent on supportive services. In today’s fragmented health care system, they are forced to navigate a complicated and confusing maze of multiple doctors, medications, and programs.

By leading a coalition of health advocacy organizations and state agencies, the Chapters will help bring patients, advocates, and providers together to improve the health of duals in our state. Learn more about Voices for Better Health here.

Public Health Leaders Can Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease

advocacyThe Chapters will introduce The Healthy Brain Initiative: The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013-2018, released by the Alzheimer’s Association and Centers for Disease Control and Preventions to the public health community in Washington State.

Learn why Alzheimer's is a public health crisis and what you can do. Visit the Center for Disease Control and Preventions website for more information about The Public Health Road Map.

*Chapters: Our Public Policy work is a collaborative effort with the two chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association serving individuals and families in Washington State, The Inland Northwest Chapter and the Western & Central Washington State Chapter.

For more information on these issues, please contact: Peter Newbould,
Public Policy Coordinator
206.529.3867 | pnewbould@alz.org

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