Equip Ohio with a Dementia-Capable Workforce
First responders are critical to the health and safety of people living with Alzheimer’s. They frequently interact with individuals who have dementia in a variety of settings and are among the first to observe instances of abuse and neglect. Without proper training on how to recognize the signs of dementia and how to effectively communicate with people with dementia, situations may escalate quickly with potentially dangerous consequences. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on legislators to support legislation in Ohio that will require training for emergency medical services workers to educate these professionals on understanding specific behavior symptoms, effective communication strategies, protocols for contacting caregivers and available local resources.
Support Dementia Caregivers by Protecting the Alzheimer’s Respite Care Program
Over 604,000 Ohioans are providing unpaid care to loved ones with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia thus enabling a large portion of the 220,000 people living with dementia in the state to live in the community, instead of moving into more costly residential long-term care. In cases where finances are tight, Ohio’s funding of Alzheimer’s respite care can step in with limited but critical respite support. The Program funds can help provide occasional adult day care services or a personal care aide in the home a few times a month allowing the family caregiver to address their own medical issues and complete tasks outside of the home. Without these funds, many caregivers risk worsening their own health. While the upcoming budget will be tight, it is critical that legislators protect the Alzheimer’s respite care funds from any cuts to support family caregivers.
Ohio State Plan Overview
Following the enactment of S.B. 24 in 2019, Ohio created the Alzheimer's Disease and Dementias Task Force which will be responsible for creating Ohio’s first State Alzheimer’s Plan. The Task Force is charged with conducting a needs assessment and examining opportunities around public health, early detection and diagnosis, workforce, home and community-based services and quality of care. A plan is anticipated to be published in August of 2021.
Ohio State Advocacy Day
April 14, 2021
Join fellow Alzheimer’s advocates for an exciting day of virtual advocacy urging Ohio’s state lawmakers to support people with dementia and their families. We will have a series of informative and engaging virtual events with state government leaders to highlight the urgent need for dementia training for first responders and ongoing funding for critical respite services for dementia caregivers. On April 14th, we will host an engaging day of storytelling, advocacy training and direct engagement with your state government representatives. And we will all wear purple to unify us in our virtual efforts!