Support the Infrastructure Needed to Make South Carolina Dementia-Capable
Alzheimer's and other dementias is a full-time struggle for the family caregivers and individuals living with the disease. South Carolina needs a full-time Dementia Coordinator working within our state’s Department on Aging to work across agencies to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing Alzheimer’s. The state previously established the Alzheimer’s Resource Coordination Center within the Department on Aging to educate healthcare providers on the importance of early detection and diagnosis, encourage innovative service delivery systems, inform public policy, and more -- but this important work has never been funded. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state policymakers to fund the Dementia Coordinator to lead this work and ongoing implementation and updates to the State Plan.
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.
Ensure Sustained Funding for Alzheimer's Caregiver Respite
95,000 South Carolinians have Alzheimer's, posing a unique challenge to some 318,000 family caregivers. Fortunately, South Carolina's Alzheimer's Caregiver Respite Program provides families with limited assistance to arrange temporary, paid care for a loved one with dementia. By using in-home care, adult day centers or other services, caregivers are able to take a break and support their mental and physical health. 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 Caregiver Respite Program from any cuts to support family caregivers.
South Carolina State Plan Overview
In June 2008, the South Carolina General Assembly created the Purple Ribbon Task Force through passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 1333 to study the current and future impact of Alzheimer's disease within the state, assess resources for those impacted by Alzheimer's, and develop a strategy to meet the needs of South Carolinians. Housed in the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging, the Purple Ribbon Task Force included representatives from state health and aging agencies, law enforcement, research institutions, long-term care agencies as well as health care providers and state legislators. Drawing on the multidisciplinary representation of its members, the Task Force published Conquering the Specter of Alzheimer's Disease in South Carolina in March 2009.
South Carolina State Advocacy Day
February 22, 2021
Join fellow Alzheimer’s advocates for an exciting week of virtual advocacy urging South Carolina state lawmakers to support people with dementia and their families from February 22nd to 26th, 2021. Over the course of five days, advocates across the state will engage with state government leaders through virtual actions and social media to highlight the urgent need for a state dementia coordinator, ongoing funding for key services and supports, and the vital importance of SC’s Alzheimer’s Caregiver Respite Program. This virtual “Alzheimer’s Association State House Advocacy Week” will combine storytelling, advocacy, and engagement with your state legislators to make a substantial real-life impact for families facing dementia in our state. And of course, we will be asking all who participate to “Go purple” to show support for the fight to #ENDALZ!