Strengthen Georgia's Dementia Care Network
In Georgia, there are 334,000 family caregivers who provide an estimated 640 million hours of uncompensated care annually. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on the General Assembly to make a $1.25 million investment in the creation of a Dementia Care Specialist Program to meet the unique needs of people living with dementia. The program would employ a dementia care specialist (DCS) in each of our twelve Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) across the state. The Dementia Care Specialists will provide families with dementia-specific case management, provide tips and support to caregivers, & improve care coordination and transitions. They will also be able to provide community education and mobilize dementia-specific community resources and supports. In addition, the funding will allow for a full-time Program lead in the Division of Aging to ensure program quality and integrated data collection across the program to maximize impact.
Ensure Eligible Residents in Assisted Living and Memory Care Have Access to Medicaid Programs
The Alzheimer’s Association has been educating the legislature about the need for dementia-specific Medicaid services for the past few years! Many people diagnosed with Alzheimer's or another dementia may need specialized care in an assisted living facility or memory care setting at some point in their disease journey. However, Georgia state law currently prohibits these licensed settings from participating as a Medicaid Provider and therefore limiting eligible residents from accessing Medicaid Waiver services. The Alzheimer’s Association is joining with other organizations to urge the legislature to update state law and ensure that Medicaid-eligible individuals can access critical Medicaid services regardless of where they reside.
Improve Caregiver Support & Reduce Unnecessary Re-Hospitalizations by Passing the Georgia Caregivers Act
There is currently no standardized process across the state requiring hospitals and acute care settings to incorporate primary caregivers in the discharge planning process. The Georgia Caregivers Act is a commonsense, no-cost bill that requires hospitals to provide instructions on the medical tasks that family caregivers will need to do at home. By designating a caregiver, notifying them when their loved one is to be discharged and instructing caregivers on how best to care for their loved one after being discharged, we can better support dementia caregivers and reduce unnecessary rehospitalizations. The Alzheimer’s Association is joining with partners in asking the Georgia General Assembly to pass the Georgia Caregivers Act.
Raise Awareness of Georgia’s Long-term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) Program
Nearly half (48%) of nursing home residents have a dementia diagnosis. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) program seeks to improve the quality of life for residents of long-term care facilities by working to resolve issues and advocate for long-term care residents statewide. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it became apparent that many families with loved ones in these settings were unaware that ombudsmen were available to them. To ensure residents and families know about this important program, the Alzheimer’s Association is supporting a funding request of $500,000 to create a state-wide awareness campaign of this critical program.
Georgia State Plan Overview
In 2013, the Georgia General Assembly established the Georgia Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force through passage of Senate Bill 14 to research the current and future impact of the disease and develop a strategy to mobilize the state response to the growing public health threat posed by Alzheimer's. The Task Force included representatives from state agencies, local health departments, research institutes, law enforcement, care provider associations, elder law, and community organizations as well as state legislators, caregivers, community members, and individuals directly impacted by Alzheimer's. Building upon previous work completed by the Georgia Division of Aging Services, the Task Force solicited public input and drafted the Georgia Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias State Plan. The plan was published in June 2014.
Georgia State Advocacy Day
February 28, 2022
Join fellow Alzheimer’s advocates on Monday, February 28th for an exciting day of advocacy urging Georgia state lawmakers to support people with dementia and their families! Never advocated before? No problem! We’ll train you and there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions before meeting with state officials. While both in-person and virtual options will be provided to participate in this event, the exact details of these options will be provided closer to the scheduled day to accommodate COVID-19 precautions and any corresponding protocols in place at the Capitol. Stay tuned, but let us know you are interested by completing the registration form below.