Equip Physicians with Dementia-Training to Improve Care
Approximately 50% of people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias never receive a formal diagnosis. This limits their ability to engage in care planning and access available resources. Physicians are on the front lines in addressing this critical issue, but we must ensure they have the training they need to make a diagnosis or referral to best serve their patient. Thus, the Alzheimer’s Association is working in collaboration with Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton to ensure all physicians who serve adults have a basic level of training on Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Open Our Eyes to Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death and most expensive disease in America. While most people are aware of steps they should take to prevent heart disease or lung cancer, Illinoisans don’t know much about brain health, or why early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia is so important. The Alzheimer’s Association is seeking leadership from our State to make Illinois dementia-capable by engaging in a comprehensive public awareness campaign that will include messages on early detection and diagnosis, access to services, and brain health and risk reduction.
Empower Adult Protective Services Workers with Dementia-Training
Adult Protective Services (APS) workers are on the front lines of protecting older adults from exploitation and harm. Many of the adults they are charged to protect are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and it is critical that these workers have the training to understand how to best serve this population. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association is advocating for APS workers to be trained regarding dementia, communication with individuals, and spotting cases of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation.
Establish the No Wrong Door Task Force to Simplify Access to Dementia Services
Illinois currently administers programs which provides critical services to people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia who are unable to otherwise access care. However, these programs can be difficult/impossible to access, especially for people under 60 years old, as this population accesses services from a different state agency. The State of Illinois must explore ways to ensure services are accessible to all individuals and their caregivers. The No Wrong Door Task Force will bring all stakeholders to the table to identify solutions to remove hurdles and ensure all people can receive the care to which they are entitled.
Illinois State Plan Overview
Illinois publishes an updated Alzheimer's state plan every three years pursuant to the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Act (410 ILCS 405). The Act charged the Illinois Department of Public Health to create an Advisory Committee comprised of persons experienced in Alzheimer's disease research, professional caregivers, members of advocacy organizations, persons living with Alzheimer's, and family members of those living with the disease. In 2012, the Act was amended to drive the next iteration of the state plan toward dementia-capability. The latest update, the Alzheimer's Disease Illinois State Plan: 2020-2023 Report and Recommendations, was completed in September 2020.
Illinois State Advocacy Day
April 12, 2021
Join our Illinois Advocacy Week! This virtual event organizes, trains and connects Alzheimer's advocates with their state legislators, compelling our leaders to engage in the fight to make Illinois dementia capable. The week-long event will kick off on Monday evening with a virtual event and there will be multiple opportunities to virtually engage with your elected officials throughout the week!We'll bring our voices together to stand up and protect the rights of the nearly 1 million Illinois residents affected by this disease. In memory of those we've lost and in honor of those currently living with the disease, join us and help push Alzheimer's Association-backed legislation to better the lives of individuals, families, caregivers and communities in Illinois impacted by Alzheimer's disease. All you need is passion - no experience required!