Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Advocacy Day at the Capitol

Many of you have asked about the Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Atlanta this year.  This year, it is February 27th.  One of the things that we are advocating for is a state plan for dealing with Alzheimer's.  If you live in the state of Georgia, please read below -- this is something that was put out by the Alzheimer's Association of Georgia and how you can help. If you have any questions at all, there is an 800 number at the bottom you can call.   Thanks for reading this and helping to get this passed.

The Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter Applauds Senator Renee Unterman’s Pre-filing Senate Bill 14, Creating the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force

On Thursday, December 20, Senator Renee Unterman held a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol. Senator Unterman stated that the purpose of the press conference was “…the introduction of the legislation creating a state wide task force establishment to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease in the state of Georgia. It will examine the existing industries, services, and resources addressing the needs of Georgians afflicted with the disease and its effect on their families. It will develop a strategy to mobilize a state response to this public health crisis.”
“…Georgia must be prepared with an active plan to share the burden of taking care of its citizens who are likely to require government assistance in the final stages of their lives due to the effects of dementia. Whether those services are provided in-home, community based, or in a nursing home type facility, Georgia must be ready to improve its health care infrastructure.
I challenge the Departments of Human Services and Aging, the Department of Public Health, the Executive branch and General Assembly to actively participate in developing this plan by approving this legislation.”
The bill creates the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force, for the purpose of:
  • Studying and collecting information and data to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer’s disease on Georgia’s citizens;
  • To examine the existing industries, services, and resources addressing the needs of persons with Alzheimer’s disease, their families, and caregivers;
  • To review the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease; and
  • To develop a strategy to mobilize a state response to Alzheimer’s and related dementias as a public health crisis by creating a state plan.
The proposed State Plan Task force will be chaired by the director of the Division of Aging Services, and includes the Commissioner of Community Health or his or her designee, the State Health Officer or his or her designee, the Chairperson of the House Committee on Health and Human Services, the Chairperson of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and the Chairperson of the House Committee on Human Relations and Aging. The Task Force shall invite other advisory members to assist the committee and may consider the following in making its selection. This membership includes individuals with Alzheimer’s and a related dementia and their caregivers, members of the various care services industries, a medical provider, a researcher, law enforcement personnel, and members from the public, private and non-profit sectors, voluntary health organizations, and the faith-based community.
At a minimum, the State Plan shall include the following:
  1. Trends in state Alzheimer’s and related dementias population and needs, including the changing population with dementia;
  2. Existing services, resources, and capacity;
  3. Needed state policies or responses, including but not limited to directions for the provision of clear and coordinate services and support to persons and families living with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders and strategies to address any identified gaps in services;
  4. Ways in which state and local agencies, private sector, quasi-governmental, voluntary health organizations, the faith community and nonprofit organizations can collaborate and work together to form a seamless network of education, support, and other needed services to those living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families;
  5. A review of, at a minimum, eighteen specific areas of concern.
The task force shall issue a state plan which shall include proposed legislation, if any, to the Governor and General Assembly on or before March 31, 2014. Upon abolishment of the task force, the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Advisory Council shall be created, with the same membership as the original State Plan Task Force. The Advisory Council shall meet at least annually to review the progress of the State Plan and to make any recommendations for changes as well as to recommend any legislation needed to implement the Plan.

How You Can Advocate for the Passage of Senate Bill 14

There are two very specific actions you can take to advocate for passage of Senate Bill 14.
  1. To complete an on-line copy of the Georgia State Plan Input form. If you’d prefer to receive a hard copy of the form on which to provide input, please call 1-800-272-3900 and ask for a copy of the Georgia State Plan Input Form.
  2. Join us for the Alzheimer’s Awareness Day at the Georgia State Capitol on Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. REGISTER to attend our 2013 Alzheimer's Awareness Day at the Georgia State Capitol.
We have jointly planned with the Georgia Council on Aging to hold Awareness Day on the first day of their Senior Week at the Capitol. Their advocates will be joining us in advocating for Senate Bill 14. The tentative agenda for Awareness Day is:
8:30 - 9:30 AM Awareness Day Registration—Central Presbyterian Church (CPC)
9:00 AM Alzheimer's Awareness Day Kickoff--CPC
10:00 AM--Tentative Full Group Photo with Governor--Time TBD based upon Governor's Schedule—photo on South Wing Capitol Steps (Inside)
10:30 AM - 3:00 PM Appointments with legislators/calling legislators out of session/House or Senate Gallery when not in meetings-- Capitol
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Lunch with Legislators--advocates and legislators drop in for lunch at CPC as their schedules permit
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM State Plan Rally/Candlelight Rally--outside, Washington Street Side of Capitol
We will also be advocating to strengthen Georgia’s already Strong Adult Guardianship laws, and to ensure that there are no cuts to Alzheimer’s Respite Funding.
There is no cost to register for/attend Alzheimer’s Awareness Day at the Georgia State Capitol—but, you must register in advance in order for us to have an accurate head count for lunch and t-shirts, and in order for us to schedule appointments with your legislators for you. Registration is limited, due to church Fire Code, to the first 400 people who register.
To equip you to speak with your legislator, and to enable you to develop confidence in discussing the issues, we are offering Awareness Day Training opportunities across the state:
  • Atlanta Chapter Office, 41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 550, Atlanta, GA 30346
    • Monday, February 11, 10:00 a.. - 12:00 noon
    • Monday, February 11, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Augusta Regional Office, 106 SRP Drive, Evans, GA 30809
    • Wednesday, February 13, 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, February 13, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Columbus Regional Office, 5900 River Road, Suite 301, Columbus, GA 31904
    • Thursday, February 14, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, February 14, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Dalton Regional Office, 922 E. Morris Street, Dalton, GA 30721
    • Wednesday, January 30, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Macon Regional Office, 886 Mulberry Street, Macon, GA 31201
    • Thursday, February 7, 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
    • Thursday, February 7, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • Rome/Floyd County Library, Oostanaula Room, 205 Riverside Parkway, NE, Rome, GA
    • Tuesday, February 5, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Savannah Regional Office, 201 Television Circle, Savannah, GA 31406
    • Wednesday, February 6, 10:00 am. - 12;00 noon
  • Statesboro--Pittman Park United Methodist Church, 1102 Fair Road, Statesboro, GA 30458
    • Thursday, February 7, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
  • Tifton--Leroy Rogers Senior Center, 315 W. Second Street, Tifton, GA 31794
    • Thursday, February 7, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday, February 12, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Just in case you are not able to attend one of the regional trainings, we will also offer three on-line training opportunities. If you register for one of these, we will e-mail the webinar information to you just a few days prior to the scheduled call:
  • Thursday, February 21, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, February 21, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 23, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Questions? Call 1-800-272-3900

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