Alzheimer's Advocates Speak with State Legislators on the Disease

Alzheimer's Advocates Speak with State Legislators on the Disease

LANSING - For Michigan Alzheimer's Advocacy Day volunteers, advocates, caregivers and people with Alzheimer's filled the room in the Anderson Building to share their story and speak on Alzheimer's affects their lives.

"People are here sharing our stories to State Legislators to tell them what they can do to help people with the disease and families of those with the disease," said Lindsay Brieschke Representative from the Alzheimer's Association.

Advocates spoke to State Legislators to propose the pilot program, "Michigan Dementia Alzheimer's Care and Support", which has been around for three years, becomes a permanent program state wide. The Michigan Dementia Alzheimer's Care and Support Program provides in home care planning for families who have loved ones with Alzheimer's or Dementia. Currently the pilot program is only in three counties and is soon coming to an end.

"We are at a place where we would like to see this in every county so we are asking State Legislators to support an expansion of this pilot project. The program has been highly successful just from those three years we saw a 250 percent return on investment and it also reduces placement in long term care," said Brieschke.

The program has also reduced emergency room visits for people with the disease and helps them to get care in their own home and community.

Anyone with Alzheimer's or Dementia at any income level is eligible for the program no matter and they receive a social worker that meets with them in the home.

"They will access their situation and look at whats available to them in their community and getting them connected," said Brieschke.

Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is the only disease in the top ten causes of death that has no treatment to slow its progression or sure according to Brieschke.

"Alzheimer's Disease is more than just memory loss, it robs people of their ability to function in everyday life and eventually requires 24 hour care," said Alzheimer's Association advocate Jennifer Howard.

"Michigan Dementia Alzheimer's Care and Support," is a government funded program where money comes from the state budget. Advocates are asking the legislator to invest 2 million dollars into the program.

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