Alzheimer’s disease and dementia presents significant challenges to those living with the disease, their caregivers, and our entire community. All too often, families are stretched to the breaking point as they endeavor to provide care for their loved one with little to no outside help or support. Working together, we can change this status quo.
Bringing Our Loved Ones Home Taskforce
ALZGLA recently served on the Bringing Our Loved Ones Home Taskforce (BOLOH), which included County, City, and community based organizations working together to explore countywide programs to ensure the safe return of individuals who wander away from their families and caregivers. Read the Taskforce’s recommendations.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently approved funding for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to purchase the equipment and training needed to support the “Project Lifesaver” program. Project Lifesaver is a wearable technology that helps law enforcement find individuals who have gone missing.
Once fully implemented, Project Lifesaver will be available throughout Los Angeles county. For more information on the County’s efforts to address wandering, please go to https://wdacs.lacounty.gov/boloh/. For more information on Project Lifesaver, visit https://projectlifesaver.org/about-us/.
Purposeful Aging Los Angeles
Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles is proud to be a partner of the Purposeful Aging Los Angeles Initiative, which seeks to prepare our region for a rapidly aging population.
Dementia Friends is a global movement that is changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. Developed by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom, the Dementia Friends initiative is underway in the USA. By helping everyone in a community understand what dementia is and how it affects people, each of us can make a difference for people touched by dementia.
Sponsored by the Los Angeles Purposeful Aging Initiative, Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles is proud to serve as the state lead of the Dementia Friends California.
Dementia Capable Communities
We are currently supporting dementia friendly initiatives in the Los Angeles area to help our area communities better accommodate the needs of those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. For more information, we encourage you to visit the very informative web Dementia Friendly America website. And keep your eyes open – we plan to have more information to share about this evolving project!
The California state legislature is in its second session and Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles is actively advocating for legislative and budget priorities that will impact individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s.
- $3.1 million to support Alzheimer’s disease research in California
- 2,000 allocated slots in Medi-Cal Assisted Living Waiver. Providing funds to reduce the waitlist will allow more people living with dementia to remain in the community and avoid costly nursing homes. Additionally, we support the passage of AB 2233 which would, among other changes, expand access to the program statewide and revise the provider reimbursement methodology to include a tier specific to the provision of memory care.
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia: public awareness campaign. AB 1955 (Limón) would provide funding to the State’s Department of Aging to develop a public awareness campaign to be implemented by each of the counties’ Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). The focus of the campaign would be on reducing stigma, raising public awareness of the warning signs and encouraging people to seek a diagnosis.
- Fee disclosure requirements for referral agencies. AB 2744 (Reyes) would require referral agencies to disclose, upfront, the fees they receive upon placement of an individual in a residential care facility. It would also require criminal background checks for referral agency staff who work directly with families as well as including those employees as mandatory reporters of elder abuse.
Funding Alzheimer’s Research
In the FY 2019 omnibus spending package (H.R. 1625), Congress appropriated $1.84 billion in funding for dedicated Alzheimer’s disease research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This was an increase of $414 million. Please send a thank you note to your Representative for investing in Alzheimer’s disease research.
We continue to work with Congressional leaders to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research in the fiscal year 2019 budget.
Read our full appropriations priorities here.
Funding for Health Programs
Other programs funded in the omnibus included:
- Social Security: A proposed budget increase of $388 million for the Social Security administrative fund. $280 million is set aside specifically for modernizing the agency’s IT infrastructure, and $100 million for reducing the backlog of appeal hearings.
- Health: $49 million in funding for State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) for FY18, which is a $2 million increase from FY17, but still $3 million less than FY 2016.
- Energy Assistance: $250 million increase for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), for a total of $3.6 billion.
- Nutrition: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funding at $74 billion, a $4.5 billion cut (nearly 6%) from FY 2017. The bill also allows for work requirements.
In February, Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) introduced the CHANGE Act, a groundbreaking new bill that fights Alzheimer’s on multiple fronts.
The CHANGE Act promotes timely detection and diagnosis, promotes innovative approaches to supporting family care partners and removes regulatory barriers to disease-modifying treatments.
Now we need advocates like you to help make sure this legislation passes! Please contact your Representative and urge them to co-sponsor this critical legislation.
Protecting the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act has implemented important benefits for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Some of those benefits include:
- Free annual Medicare wellness visit that includes a cognitive assessment
- Expanding coverage of Medicare prescription drugs to eliminate the “donut hole”
- Health insurance companies cannot refuse coverage based on pre-existing conditions, which protects people with early-onset dementia from discrimination.
Continued attacks on the Affordable Care Act have proposed repealing the individual mandate, terminating the Medicaid expansion, and impose per capita caps and block grants. The proposals would directly harm Californians by:
- Slashing Medicaid funding, forcing California to cut services, restrict eligibility and reduce benefits.
- Putting access to long-term services and supports at jeopardy.
- Charge older Californians more.
- Eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Find upcoming advocacy opportunities near you: http://fightandresist.org/events/
Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Coalition, Health Reform & Dementia issue brief, read about Medicaid and Dementia and the impact of cuts to Medicaid will impact people living with dementia.
At the local, state and federal levels we advocate for the legislative, policy and regulatory changes that improve the quality of care & quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families through:
- Improving dementia care and services
- Increasing access to community-based care
- Expanding funding for medical research and public programs serving people with dementia and their caregivers
- Supporting the development of dementia-friendly communities
Now is the time to join us in persuading our policymakers to take direct action on these crucial matters.
What is an advocate?
An advocate educates and engages elected officials on key issues. Our advocates are just like you – people who care about this cause, who want their elected officials to do more to address the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, and who are ready to make a difference.
If you are interested in getting involved, there are a number of ways you can help depending on the time you have available and the kinds of activities that are of interest to you.
For more information, contact Barbra McLendon at 323.930.6290 or email@example.com