Establish a Dementia Services Coordinator Position
Today, numerous Kentucky agencies administer a variety of programs critical to people living with dementia. However, these efforts are often siloed, with multiple state agencies working separately from one another. In addition, Kentucky misses out on critical federal dollars that could be utilized to improve the long-term services and supports infrastructure for those living with Alzheimer's and other dementia. It is essential that Kentucky establish and fund a full-time Dementia Services Coordinator within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to coordinate programs and services, manage the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council and apply for grant opportunities.
Update the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council and Alzheimer's State Plan
While Kentucky is fortunate to have an Alzheimer's State Plan in existence, the plan, and the Council responsible for the plan, is outdated. Kentucky needs an updated State Alzheimer’s Plan crafted and coordinated by a revived Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council that includes key state officials, private and public sector stakeholders, researchers and advocates. An updated Plan and functioning Council are crucial in outlining a comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing Alzheimer’s in Kentucky.
Empower Home Health Workers with Dementia Training
Home health workers play a critical role in keeping individuals living with Alzheimer's safe and healthy in their homes and communities. These individuals provide companionship, basic medical services and enable people with dementia to stay in their most familiar and intimate environment. However, without proper training on how to recognize the signs of dementia and how to effectively communicate with people with dementia, the quality of care may decline. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on legislators to support forthcoming legislation in Kentucky that will require dementia-specific training for home health workers on understanding specific behavior symptoms, effective communication strategies, protocols for contacting caregivers and available local resources.
Kentucky State Plan Overview
The Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council was established through legislation that was enacted during the 2000 legislative session. In 2007, the Commonwealth of Kentucky enacted Senate Joint Resolution 6, which directed the Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Council to create a comprehensive strategy to respond to the growing Alzheimer's crisis within the state. Appointed by the governor, the Council includes representatives from state agencies, local health departments, academia, and the medical research community as well as consumers and caregivers. The Council formed a wider work group to research and draft the State Plan. In January 2008, the Council published Setting a Roadmap to Address Alzheimer's in the Commonwealth: A Report of the Current and Anticipated Future Impact of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias on Kentuckians with Recommendations for Action. This plan was updated in 2017 and includes updated and new recommendations for combating Alzheimer's and dementia in Kentucky.
Kentucky State Advocacy Day
February 08, 2021
Advocates from across Kentucky took action the week of 2/8-2/10. From calling, tweeting and emailing members to participating in virtual meetings, advocates still turned Frankfort purple as they lobbied for passage of SB 61 and SB 74!