A longstanding tradition for Missouri Alzheimer’s disease advocates each spring is to flock to Jefferson City to turn the capital purple and speak with lawmakers about disease issues – urging them to fund key initiatives to help families affected by this disease. Although the Alzheimer’s Association will not be traveling to Jefferson City, we will be engaging in a week-long initiative by hosting virtual meetings with key lawmakers and hosting programs throughout the week.
Here are the important questions we urge Missouri officials to consider in addressing the Alzheimer’s disease crisis.
Funding Alzheimer’s Respite Grants
Maintain $450,000 in House Bill 3010—Department of Health and Senior Services. Respite Assistance provides funds for respite support or care-related products to families caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease at home. In Missouri, the value of unpaid care provided by family caregivers is $4.3 billion, much of which would otherwise be provided in a nursing home and funded by Medicaid. 99% of people receiving respite funds say the respite has helped them care for their loved one at home longer.
Continued funding of the derogation for structured family carers
Funding for this program is included in House Bill 3010 — Department of Health and Senior Services in the Division of Senior and Disabilities budget. The Structured Family Caregiver Act was passed and signed into law by Governor Mike Parson in 2019. Structured Family Care at Home is an agency-led model under MO HealthNet to ensure the availability of comprehensive, cost-effective choices for people with dementia. Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder. . The waiver was approved in February 2020. The bill created an initial cap of 300 participants.
Missouri Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan Task Force
In 2021, the Missouri General Assembly re-established the Missouri State Alzheimer’s Plan Task Force through the adoption of HB 432. Tasked with assessing the challenges posed by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in the state. The reinstated state Alzheimer’s disease plan task force that will evaluate all state programs that address Alzheimer’s disease and update and maintain an integrated state plan to defeat Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s. HB 2174 will give the task force an additional five months to produce its initial report to the governor and the General Assembly.
A major addition to this year’s Remembrance Week is our daily initiatives to raise awareness of our mission. Every day we will have a new action in which defenders can participate.
The daily initiatives are:
Monday March 7
Join others and record and share your story on why you advocate for policy and funding that will help people with dementia and their caregivers. These videos will be shared with lawmakers to help put a face and a story to this disease.
tuesday march 8
Ask your lawmakers to support funding for respite care and structured family caregivers, which would help relieve and assist caregivers. This will be done through calls to action and social media efforts.
Wednesday March 9
Join us at 9 a.m. for a virtual program to hear from Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, University of Missouri Vice Chancellor of Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart, and our new Chapter President of Greater Missouri and Regional Chief, Ed Clay.
Thursday March 10
Join us at 10 a.m. for a free virtual education class in conjunction with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Vulnerable Citizen Services Unit. This course will cover the telltale signs of dementia, the different types of scams, what to do if a loved one is caught in a scam, and tips to help protect the most vulnerable from being preyed upon.
We encourage everyone to lend their voice in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and to register for Remembrance Week by visiting alz.org/greatermissouri.
Jerry Dowell is the vice president of public policy for the Greater Missouri Alzheimer’s Association.