Kansas State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In May 2019, Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order No. 19-08, establishing the Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force. The Task Force was responsible for assessing the impact of Alzheimer’s disease in Kansas, including the services and resources in place and needed to address the needs of people living with dementia and their caregivers. The Task Force was then tasked with a strategy to mobilize a state response to the Alzheimer’s public health crisis in Kansas. The members were divided into committees that studied, researched and documented: public awareness, access to care, family caregivers, training and workforce, safety and legal, research and data, dementia care, and rural. The Task Force met bi-monthly between the months of August and November of 2019 and in January 2020, published the 2020 Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Plan. An executive summary was also prepared.
Kansas 2023 Policy Priorities
Establish a State Dementia Services Coordinator Position
55,000 Kansans aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia; a number expected to grow to 62,000 by 2025. With the number of people developing dementia steadily increasing, Kansas needs a more dementia-capable state government infrastructure. To better serve the growing population of people living with dementia and their caregivers, the Alzheimer’s Association is urging state policymakers to establish a State Dementia Services Coordinator position within the state government to evaluate and coordinate state-funded dementia services. The Dementia Services Coordinator will serve as a liaison between state agencies, the governor, the legislature, and private stakeholders to ensure the state has a coordinated and effective approach toward addressing Alzheimer’s.
Prevent Transfer Trauma for Residents of Assisted Living
Residents of assisted living communities can be discharged from their home without notice or cause and without the opportunity to appeal. Transfers or discharges can be very traumatizing to residents, especially those living with dementia. Charlie Imthurn, a resident living with Alzheimer’s, was a victim of this practice when he was evicted from his residence in an assisted living community without cause and died nine days later due to the trauma of moving. The Alzheimer’s Association is requesting state legislators support Charlie’s Bill, which would create the right to appeal an involuntary discharge or transfer from an adult residential care facility. This appeal process would significantly reduce the number of Kansans who would experience transfer trauma and ensure better outcomes for people living with dementia.
Restore Case Management Services for Frail Elderly, Physical Disability, and Brain Injury Waivers
Alzheimer’s is one of the most expensive diseases in America, and people living with the disease often rely on waivers to receive case management services — services that assist beneficiaries in gaining access to medical, social, and education services. In 2012, case management services for the Home and Community-Based Services Frail Elderly (FE) waiver, the Physical Disability (PD) and Brain Injury (BI) waivers were eliminated by the state. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state lawmakers to restore case management services for these waivers to better serve the 55,000 Kansans living with Alzheimer’s.
Establish Person-Centered HCBS Planning Services
KanCare, the Kansas Medicaid program, is in the process of analyzing the needs for the renewal of the home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver from the federal government. The Alzheimer’s Association is advocating for person-centered care planning to be considered when establishing home and community-based services in Kansas. Person-centered care planning recognizes the individual as more than a diagnosis, respects the individual’s wishes, and maintains a supportive community for individuals and their families.
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State Affairs Contact: Jamie Gideon
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Kansas
Kansans are providing unpaid care
Medicaid cost of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020)
deaths from Alzheimer’s in 2019
in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
increase of geriatricians in Kansas needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Kansas
The following resources developed by AIM and the Alzheimer’s Association will help you learn more about the issues impacting people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, how Kansas policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.