In South Dakota last month, a passionate team of Alzheimer’s Association and AIM advocates put on their purple, got on a bus from Sioux Falls around 6:30 a.m. and headed to their state capitol in Pierre. There they met directly with state legislators and Governor Kristi Noem at South Dakota’s State Advocacy Day.
This is a scene that is happening in states across the nation right now as volunteers gear up to attend state advocacy days and grow momentum in the fight against Alzheimer’s at their state capitals. Advocates meet with policymakers to share their stories and advance policies in their state to improve the lives of those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
During South Dakota’s State Advocacy Day, more than 300 advocates, Alzheimer’s Association staff and state legislators met to talk about the priorities most pressing to people facing Alzheimer’s. By sitting down, sharing a meal together and discussing how Alzheimer’s has impacted them, advocates connected with their state policymakers and shared what their support of the Alzheimer’s community means to all those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia throughout the state.
This year in South Dakota, advocates in the state are focusing on establishing adult day programs for South Dakotans with dementia. Adult day services play a key role in the lives of many people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia and their caregivers. These programs often provide caregivers with valuable respite and create opportunities for people living with the disease to be in a social setting with professional supervision. Advocates impacted by adult day care services had the opportunity to meet with Governor Kristi Noem to share their experiences during South Dakota’s State Advocacy Day.
Learn more about South Dakota’s legislative priorities for 2023 or advocacy opportunities in your state by visiting alzimpact.org/state.
All photos courtesy of Hunter Chear, Chear Media