Secure the Future by Implementing the State Alzheimer's Plan
Through a federal BOLD grant, the Iowa Department of Public Health has developed the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Program (ADRD). The ADRD Program has made great progress by hiring a dementia coordinator; establishing an advisory committee; developing a website; developing a landscape assessment of Alzheimer's and related dementias in Iowa; and, establishing an Alzheimer's Coalition to construct an Iowa Alzheimer's State Plan. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on the Health and Human Services Budget Committee to allocate $75,000 to implement the Alzheimer’s State Plan and ensure that the ADRD Program can continue after the federal grant expires.
Protect People with Dementia From Abuse and Neglect, SF 522
People with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are at heightened risk for experiencing elder abuse. Older adults with dementia are especially susceptible to abuse — as many as 62% of them experience psychological abuse and as many as one-fourth have been physically abused. However, Iowa lacks a comprehensive structure to protect Iowans with dementia who are victims of abuse. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on Iowa lawmakers to support SF 522, which will specify the penalties for elder abuse and procedures for how these cases should be prosecuted. SF 522 unanimously passed the Senate last year and was stalled in the House Judiciary Committee. Therefore, it is crucial for advocates to contact their House members and them to support this important legislation.
Eliminate the Moratorium on Training for Long-Term Care Workers
COVID-19 has scrambled training requirements for direct care workers in Iowa. In September 2021, to address the shortage of direct care workers in long-term care communities the state temporarily waived training requirements for temporary nurse aides (TNA’s) who deliver much of the hands-on care in nursing homes. It is imperative that all workers who assist individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia are properly trained. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging legislators to eliminate the moratorium on training requirements for temporary nurses aids to ensure individuals living with dementia receive quality care.
Iowa State Plan Overview
In 2007, the Iowa Legislature established a task force through the enactment of Senate File 489 to assess the current and future impact of Alzheimer's disease on residents, examine the existing resource available, and develop a strategy to mobilize a state response to the growing threat of Alzheimer's disease. The task force included representatives from the long-term care industry, community organizations, and state agencies as well as state legislators, caregivers, and individuals directly impacted by Alzheimer's. After collecting testimony from advocacy groups and individuals to inform the plan's recommendations, the task force published the Final Report: Alzheimer's Disease Task Force in January 2008.
Iowa State Advocacy Day
January 31, 2022
Iowa's Advocacy Week on the Hill was held on January 31st through February 3rd and was a great success! Thank you to our advocates who participated in email campaigns, letters to the editor, and virtual meetings with legislators. We hope to see you again next year!