Support Dementia Caregivers by Protecting the Alzheimer's Grants for Respite
Over 300,000 Missourians are providing unpaid care to loved ones with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia thus enabling a large portion of the 120,000 people living with dementia in Missouri to live in the community, instead of moving into more costly residential long-term care. In cases where finances are tight, Missouri’s state-funded respite assistance program steps in to provide funds for respite support or care-related products allowing the dementia family caregiver to take care of their personal medical issues, complete tasks outside of the home, or simply enjoy time off from the demands of caregiving. Without these funds, many caregivers risk worsening their own health. While the upcoming Fiscal Year 2022 budget will be tight, it is critical that legislators protect the full $450,00 in the budget for the Department of Health and Senior Services to provide grants for Alzheimer’s respite care.
Support Funding for the Missouri Structured Family Caregiver Program
In 2019, the Missouri enacted legislation establishing the Structured Family Caregiver Program to begin on July 1, 2020. The Program was to allow up to 300 Missouri HealthNet (Medicaid) beneficiaries, including those living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, to live in their choice of home setting with the caregiver of their choice. This would improve access to home and community based-services, and support family caregivers of people with dementia by providing reimbursement for daily caregiving tasks. Due to the pandemic and the budget impact of COVID-19, however, funding was removed from the 2020 budget and implementation has been delayed. With the recent decision to expand Medicaid coverage and funding, the Alzheimer’s Association is urging state policymakers to advance funding in 2021 to provide critical, ongoing support to family caregivers of people with dementia.
Protect Residents In Long Term Care Settings by Mitigating the Risk of COVID-19 and Addressing Social Isolation
The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and is creating pressing challenges for long-term care (LTC) communities and residents, where people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias represent a large proportion of LTC residents. There are also growing concerns that social isolation among people with dementia has contributed to individual decline and stress among family caregivers who cannot assess the health of their loved ones. To best support individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia during the pandemic, the Alzheimer’s Association has released a comprehensive set of long-term care policy recommendations for lawmakers focused on testing, reporting, surge activation, and providing support. The Alzheimer’s Association will continue to urge state policymakers to prioritize long-term care in the COVID-19 response.
Missouri State Plan Overview
In 2009, the Missouri General Assembly established the Missouri Alzheimer's State Plan Task Force through passage of HB 272. Tasked with assessing the challenges posed by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias within the state, the Task Force included representatives from state agencies, health care providers, and community organizations as well as caregivers, state legislators, an individual living with Alzheimer's, and the Lieutenant Governor. After collecting public input regarding community frustrations, concerns, and advice on dealing with this disease, the Task Force presented the Missouri Alzheimer's State Plan, published in November 2010.
Missouri State Advocacy Day
March 01, 2021
Join Alzheimer's advocates from around the state for Memory Week 2021. Our annual Memory Day will look a little different this year. This year we will meet with key legislators throughout the week utilizing virtual video chats. We will have a 90-minute program on Wednesday, March 3, where you will get to hear from key legislators, department directors, the Governor and Lt. Governor and maybe even a few surprises. We will get the opportunity to highlight the urgent need for funding of dementia programs and policy changes that will lead to transformative change. Wear purple and voice your support.