There are lots of opportunities to advocate this spring! Visit the Alzheimer's Association South Carolina Chapter website for details about State House Day on April 10 and our regional Advocacy in Action workshops March 5-7.
Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis
Establish brain health as a public health priority
Just as obesity and diabetes are public health epidemics requiring large-scale interventions, we must take proactive steps to reduce the risk of cognitive loss for our aging population. The 2015 Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System survey found that 12% of South Carolinians age 45 or older are experiencing subjective cognitive decline, and over 60% of them reported functional difficulties as a result (such as giving up day-to-day activities). We are committed to working with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control to promote evidence-based messages about risk reduction for cognitive decline.
Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services
Ensure sustained funding for Alzheimer's Caregiver Respite
89,000 South Carolinians have Alzheimer's, posing a unique challenge to some 309,000 family caregivers. Fortunately, the 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. In 2018, this program was funded at $900,000 through the SC Department of Mental Health and provided respite to over 1,300 families. We are requesting that funding be sustained at $900,000 in 2019.
Advance Alzheimer's Policy
Establish a full-time Alzheimer's Program Manager role in the new Department on Aging
Alzheimer's is a full-time struggle for those living with it and their caregivers. We need a dedicated focus on this disease in the new Department on Aging. In 1995, our state established an Alzheimer's Disease & Related Disorders Resource Coordination Center (ARCC) within the state unit on aging, but this mandate was never funded. An Alzheimer's Program Manager would fulfill the duties enumerated in Section 44-36-320 of the 1976 Code and promote public health interventions such as risk reduction and early detection. Ten states have such a dedicated position, including Georgia and North Carolina. SC has the highest Alzheimer's death rate in the nation - the time to act is now!
Advance Alzheimer's Policy
Guide South Carolina through the next decade of our fight against Alzheimer's
South Carolina's Alzheimer's State Plan will turn 10 years old in 2019. Published in 2009, this plan created a vision of comprehensive, coordinated, accessible systems to improve the lives of persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders as well as their caregivers. A lot has changed in 10 years, both in terms of the progress that we've made and in terms of emerging needs. It's time for an update! In partnership with the new Department on Aging, we hope to create a new Alzheimer's State Plan to address the emerging concerns and issues of South Carolinians living with this disease.
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
April 10, 2019
Join us in Columbia to speak up for 89,000 Alzheimer's families in South Carolina! The Alzheimer's Association South Carolina Chapter will host a State House Day on April 10th to give advocates like you an opportunity to speak with your state legislators about fighting Alzheimer's through public policy. We'll spend the morning talking with legislators in their offices or in the State House lobby. After being recognized by the SC House of Representatives, advocates will enjoy a complimentary lunch and brief presentation on next steps, policy successes and ways stay involved. If you've never attended State House Day before, don't worry! We'll offer webinar/conference call trainings in advance of the big event, and we'll have easy-to-use materials to help guide your conversations with lawmakers. We'll also help group you with other constituents from your districts. Please RSVP online by April 5th. Learn more or RSVP at http://alz.org/sc.
2020 Advocacy Forum
March 22-24, 2020 alz.org/forum
As an Alzheimer's advocate, you've worked to advance critical public policy, making a difference in the lives of all those impacted by Alzheimer's. Together we've achieved great increases in federal Alzheimer's research funding and secured critical advances in care and support. But we can't take our successes for granted — we need to keep the pressure on.
Join us in Washington for an inspiring three-day event filled with networking, training and education.
Be part of the movement that's making a difference in the fight against Alzheimer's.
Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in South Carolina
State Affairs Contact Beth Sulkowski | 8646990620 | [email protected]
Enter your address here to see your elected officials' positions on Alzheimer's and ways you can contact them to support the Alzheimer's community.
Number of People Aged 65 and Older With Alzheimer's by Age
Percentage change from 2019
Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's (2019)
change in costs from 2019 to 2025
per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia (in 2018 dollars)
of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia
of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia
dementia patient hospital readmission rate
Number of Caregivers
Total Hours of Unpaid Care
Total Value of Unpaid Care
Higher Health Costs of Caregivers
|6th||leading cause of death in South Carolina|
|8th||highest Alzheimer's death rate in America|
|192%||increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000|
For more information, view the 2019 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at alz.org/facts.
Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and as many as 14 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is estimated to total $290 billion in 2019, increasing to $1.1 trillion (in today's dollars) by mid-century. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer's or another dementia.