Washington State Advocacy And Public Policy
Alzheimer’s disease is the third leading cause of death in the state of Washington. Currently, more than 150,000 Washingtonians are living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, and they are being looked after by over 350,000 caregivers – mostly unpaid family members. That’s over half a million of us, our family members, friends and neighbors – and we expect that number to triple by 2050.
Prepare for the Age Wave
Baby Boomers are aging. By 2030, 20 percent of Washington residents will be 65 and older. To prepare for the demographic shift, the Chapters* and our partners in the health advocacy community will support and inform the work of the Joint Legislative Executive Committee on Aging and Disability Issues and advance the strategic priorities identified at the Governor’s Aging Summit.
Develop a State Alzheimer's Disease Plan
Washington is one of only six states that haven’t begun work on a plan. Our state needs to support dementia-capable programs for the growing number of people with the disease. The plan will prepare our state to address a range of issues including:
- Improving the quality of the health care system in serving people with Alzheimer’s.
- Increasing awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among the public; encouraging early detection.
- Better equipping health care professionals and others to deal with individuals with Alzheimer’s.
- Meeting the needs of unpaid caregivers.
ADVOCATE FOR DUAL ELIGIBLES: Voices for Better Health Washington State
The purpose of this project is to advance care and establish a strong voice for over 126,000 Washingtonians who are dual eligible (“duals”)—individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. Duals—many of whom are living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia—tend to be poorer, sicker, and heavily dependent on supportive services. In today’s fragmented health care system, they are forced to navigate a complicated and confusing maze of multiple doctors, medications, and programs.
The Chapters will work to shape Washington’s duals demonstration project by leading a coalition of health advocacy organizations collaborating with state agencies to bring together patients, advocates, delivery systems, and providers to improve the health of the growing number of duals in our state. Learn more about Voices for Better Health by CLICKING HERE.
Implement "The Public Health Road Map"
The Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) recently released The Healthy Brain Initiative: The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013-2018. The Road Map, which the Chapters will introduce to the public health community in Washington State, includes 35 Action Items that state and local public health officials and their partners can take to promote cognitive functioning, address impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, and help meet the needs of caregivers. http://www.alz.org/publichealth/
*Chapters: our public policy work is a collaborative effort of the two chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association that serve the individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias in Washington: the Inland Northwest Chapter and the Western & Central Washington State Chapter.
For more information on these issues, please contact:
Ashley Studerus, Public Policy Coordinator, 206.529.3867, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Joel Loiacono, Inland Northwest Chapter Executive Director, 509.473.3390, email@example.com