Raleigh, NC – April 12, 2018: Rockingham County resident, Nancy Brown, recently joined a group of Alzheimer’s advocates to turn North Carolina purple for Alzheimer’s.
Hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter and Alzheimer’s Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter, the NC State Advocacy Day 2018 took place at the state capitol in Raleigh on March 22 and included meetings with state legislators and an advocacy session.
Advocates explained how Alzheimer’s is a public health crisis that is devastating North Carolina where 170,000 residents are living with Alzheimer’s and by 2025, the number is expected to increase by 23.5 percent. In addition, 466,000 family caregivers in North Carolina provided over 531 million hours of unpaid care valued at $6.7 billion and Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive disease in the U.S. costing $277 billion in 2018.
“I lost my father to dementia. As the disease progressed, I watched him disappear before my eyes,” said Brown. “This disease took everything from him and I felt helpless to do anything. Now I volunteer as an Ambassador to lend my voice, to honor my dad’s memory and to influence real change and progress towards better treatment and a cure. I want to make sure that people know that dementia is not a normal part of getting older, that it is more than just being forgetful.”
The following are some solutions that Brown and other Alzheimer’s advocates shared with elected officials on how to address the health crisis:
- Bolster the Workforce by supporting HV 456, which calls for required dementia training for all skilled nursing facilities direct care workers.
- Expand Home and Community Based Services in response to the poor health outcomes that impact caregivers due to stress. The NC Alzheimer’s State Plan calls for a 10 percent additional appropriation bringing the 2018 total to $806,000 and to be increased by an additional 10 percent a year for the next nine years.
- Make Alzheimer’s a Public Health Priority in 2018 in North Carolina in response to the large and growing burden of this disease. Requested a budgetary appropriation of $250,000 to the North Carolina Department of Public Health to include Alzheimer’s data on the N.C. Department of Health website, to introduce public health education programs on Alzheimer’s in North Carolina, and to create public awareness campaigns in rural and minority communities.
“NC State Advocacy Day 2018 was a tremendous opportunity for the public and those affected by Alzheimer’s to take action and speak up for the needs and rights of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families,” said Katherine L. Lambert, CEO of the Western Carolina Chapter. “We appreciate everyone who took the time to join us and participate in turning North Carolina Purple for Alzheimer’s.”
Additional Facts and Figures: (http://www.alz.org/facts/)
- One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer’s dementia.
- An estimated 5.7 million Americans, including 170,000 North Carolina residents, are living with Alzheimer’s, a number estimated to grow to as many as 16 million by year 2050.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
- African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
- Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
About the Alzheimer’s Association:
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s.
About the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter:
The Western Carolina Chapter provides patient and family services, information and referral, education, and advocacy in the 49 central and western North Carolina counties that serves 110,000 people currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and their 330,000 caregivers in these counties. We provide a variety of services including a 24/7 Helpline, support groups, educational programs, and MedicAlert®. We offer opportunities to get involved and to make a difference. For more information about Alzheimer’s disease or the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter, visit www.alz.org/northcarolina or call (800) 272-3900. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Category: Press Release