Public policy decisions must provide the resources necessary to support programs that affect people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Now is the time to act.
Support for Alzheimer’s and dementia family caregivers
Today, more than 16 million Americans are providing 18.5 billion hours of unpaid care valued at nearly $234 billion to people living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) are working to implement public policies that will have a meaningful impact on caregivers.
In the states we are supporting family caregivers through the development and implementation of state plans and other state and local policies. Policies being pursued include increased funding for respite care services for caregivers of individuals living with Alzheimer’s, expanding access to home and community-based services, enhancing access to protected paid leave so that caregivers can continue providing care with less impact on their employment. Many state plans promote more education for caregivers as well as access to help navigating the health care system on behalf of their loved ones with dementia.
An estimated 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s. But because of their age, some individuals living with younger-onset Alzheimer’s are not eligible for existing programs available to older Americans. The Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Act of 2019 would allow these individuals to access programs under the Older Americans Act (OAA). Those programs include nutritional services, supportive services, the National Family Caregiver Support program and other services that enhance quality of life. Take action today.
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Protections for persons living with dementia
Abuse can occur anywhere, including at home and in care settings. People with dementia are especially vulnerable because the disease may prevent them from reporting the abuse or recognizing it. They also may fall prey to strangers who take advantage of their cognitive impairment.
The Alzheimer’s Association is working to advance policies that protect those living with dementia from abuse and exploitation. Across the country, the Association with AIM is educating state policymakers on the importance of passing laws and regulations that protect this population.
State plans are addressing this critical issue through a variety of recommendations including:
- requiring training of adult protective services workers and law enforcement;
- making it a criminal offense for an individual to financially exploit a cognitively impaired individual;
- establishing laws and regulations governing the financial industry in cases of potential financial exploitation of vulnerable adults