Alzheimer's LA at the Alzheimer's Summit in Washington DC 2018

Advocacy

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia presents significant challenges to those living with the disease, their caregivers, and our entire community. All too often, families are stretched to the breaking point as they endeavor to provide care for their loved one with little to no outside help or support. Working together, we can change this status quo.

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PHOTO
Representatives of Alzheimer’s Los Angeles attend the US Against Alzheimer’s summit in 2018 (l to r):
Kelly Takasu, Sophia Sasson, Laurie Sasson, Val Zavala, Janet Morris, Barbra McLendon, Tara Hicks

LOCAL ACTION

Los Angeles Purposeful Aging logo

Purposeful Aging Los Angeles
Alzheimer’s Los Angeles is proud to be a partner of the Purposeful Aging Los Angeles Initiative, which seeks to prepare our region for a rapidly aging population.

On August 7, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a motion approving the recommendations outlined in the Age-Friendly Action Plan for the Los Angeles Region. These recommendations were developed through the Purposeful Aging Los Angeles initiative and includes recommendations on how to make our community dementia friendly and our partnership with the County to implement the Dementia Friends program.

Read the recommendations here.

Los Angeles County Seal

Los Angeles County
Dept. of Aging Proposal

On February 2, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to study the feasibility of creating a standalone Department of Aging which would encompass all programs that serve older adults. The study will consider whether the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Aging should be folded into this new agency with the goal of providing an integrated service delivery system for older adults. Alzheimer’s LA director of public policy, Barbra McLendon, testified at the hearing to advocate for better coordinated care for families impacted by Alzheimer’s who utilize city and county resources. We will continue to work with the city and county to ensure that future plans best serve the needs of our families.

LA Found logo

LA Found
LA Found is a Los Angeles County initiative to improve the County’s response to incidences of wandering—including implementing new technologies, improving coordination of emergency responders, and connecting residents to resources.

One of the technologies supported by the LA County Sheriff’s Department is Project Lifesaver, a wearable radio frequency technology that can assist law enforcement in finding someone with cognitive impairment when they go missing. This technology is available throughout the County. Visit LAFound.com to learn more and purchase a Project Lifesaver bracelet.

LA Found is the result of the Bringing Our Loved Ones Home Taskforce (BOLOH). Alzheimer’s Los Angeles is proud to be a part of the taskforce and advocate for the needs of local Alzheimer’s families.

STATE ACTION

Yes on AB 453

AB 453 Signed Into Law!
On July 12, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 453, a bill authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau (District 49). Thanks to this legislation, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) will now receive training on how to effectively communicate with a person living with dementia and how to engage family caregivers when responding to a medical emergency. Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, Alzheimer’s Orange County, and Alzheimer’s San Diego are proud to be co-sponsors of this legislation.

Read our press release and watch our partners at Alzheimer’s San Diego speak about this bill on KSUI.

We thank Assemblymember Chau for taking this step to make sure our emergency medical system is more prepared to serve our families.

California Budget
We were pleased to see a commitment to Alzheimer’s in the final budget including:

  • $3 million for Alzheimer’s research and the Governor’s Alzheimer’s Taskforce
  • $5 million for Alzheimer’s disease public health infrastructure

And funding for programs that help our families including:

  • $13.7 million for a rate increase to the CBAS program
  • $10 million (over three years) for Caregiver Resource Centers
  • $1 million for a study on creating a long-term insurance program
  • Funding increase for the Long Term Care Ombudsman program
  • $14.8 million for the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) rate increase
  • $124.9 million to raise Medi-Cal eligibility to 138% of the federal poverty level for the Aged and Disabled program (individuals 65 and older
  • Expands full- Scope Medi-Cal for Low-income undocumented adults
  • $500,000 for the maintenance of the CalQuality, a resource for caregivers
California for All

FEDERAL ACTION

Protecting the Affordable Care Act

Benefits of the Affordable Care Act include:

  • Free annual Medicare wellness visit that includes a cognitive assessment
  • Expanding coverage of Medicare prescription drugs to eliminate the “donut hole
  • Health insurance companies cannot refuse coverage based on pre-existing conditions, like early-onset dementia.

The current proposals to change the Affordable Care Act would directly harm Californians by:

  • Slashing Medicaid funding.
  • Charge older Californians more.
  • Eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Additional Resources
Find advocacy opportunities near you: http://fightandresist.org/events/
Justice in Aging, How Older Americans Will Suffer Under Senate Republicans’ Proposal to Cap Medicaid Funding
Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Coalition, Health Reform & Dementia issue brief,  read about Medicaid and Dementia and the impact of cuts to Medicaid will impact people living with dementia.

Funding Alzheimer’s Research

Alzheimer’s Los Angeles is advocating for these priorities in the Fiscal Year 2020 federal appropriations:

  • $350 million increase for National Institutes of Health (NIH) research on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia to accelerate progress as articulated in the Bypass Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2020
  • $500 million increase for aging research across the NIH, in addition to the funding for dementia-specific research, to ensure that the NIH has the resources to address the many other age-related chronic diseases that affect people with dementia
  • $2.5 billion increase for the NIH, including funds from the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiatives
  • $418 million increase for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in addition to funds included in the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiatives
  • 12% increase for Older Americans Act (OAA) services including, but not limited to:
    • $21.75 million increase for the OAA Title III E National Family Caregiver Support Program
    • $59.4 million increase for the OAA Title III C-1 Congregate Meals Program
    • $30.2 million increase for the III C-2 Home-Delivered Meals Program
    • $5 million increase for the OAA Title IV Falls Prevention Program
  • $900,000 increase for the Lifespan Respite Care Program
  • $6.5 million increase for the Alzheimer’s Disease Program Initiative

Read our full appropriations priorities here.

Become part of the change today as an Alzheimer’s advocate

What is an advocate?

An advocate educates and engages elected officials on key issues.  Our advocates are just like you – people who care about this cause, who want their elected officials to do more to address the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, and who are ready to make a difference.

At the local, state and federal levels we advocate for the legislative, policy and regulatory changes that improve the quality of care & quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families through:

  • Improving dementia care and services
  • Increasing access to community-based care
  • Expanding funding for medical research and public programs serving people with dementia and their caregivers
  • Supporting the development of dementia-friendly communities

Now is the time to join us in persuading our policymakers to take direct action on these crucial matters.

If you are interested in getting involved, there are a number of ways you can help depending on the time you have available and the kinds of activities that are of interest to you.

For more information, contact Barbra McLendon at 323.930.6290 or bmclendon@alzla.org