Ensure adequate planning and support for individuals and families impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease (S.206)
Alzheimer's and other dementias is a full-time struggle for the family caregivers and individuals living with the disease. With an effort underway to update the Alzheimer’s state plan, now is the time for the state to establish a full-time Dementia Coordinator to work across agencies to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state lawmakers to create a state Dementia Coordinator position and ensure regular updates to the Alzheimer’s state plan by passing S.206.
Strengthen Home and Community-Based Services in Vermont
More than 13,000 Vermonters 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s - a figure expected to rise to 17,000 by 2025. While many rely on home and community-based services (HCBS) to delay admission into a long-term care setting, services such as home delivered meals, personal emergency response systems and adult day health programs help support family caregivers. In 2020 alone, 25,000 dementia caregivers provided over 36 million hours of unpaid care in Vermont. With a limited workforce, the Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state policymakers to include an additional $6 million in the budget to expand reimbursement levels for HCBS and respite care.
Increase Vermont's Dementia-Capable Workforce
In the last year, Vermont has seen acute staffing shortages in our long-term care communities as well as in home and community-based services. The Alzheimer’s Association supports the "Health Care Workforce Development Strategic Plan," released in October 2021, and urges the legislature to implement their recommendations for workforce recruitment, education, and retention.
Vermont State Plan Overview
In 1991 Vermont's legislature enacted legislation that established the Governor's Commission on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders. The Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), in its efforts to design and develop the State Plan on Dementia, convened a subcommittee of the Governor's Commission on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders and other aging network providers. This subcommittee was charged with providing guidance and oversight for the development of a plan to help the state policy makers and stakeholders better understand how the estimated increase in people with dementia will need to be met with a corresponding increase in resources; including caregivers, specialized care units, respite services and education. During 2007 and 2008, JSI Research and Training Institute Inc., under contract with the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living engaged in a planning process to develop a State Plan on Dementia. Soliciting feedback from community members, direct service providers, and families impacted by Alzheimer's, the subcommittee published the Vermont State Plan on Dementia in 2009.
Vermont State Advocacy Day
April 27, 2022
Join Alzheimer's advocates from around Vermont for Alzheimer's Advocacy Day at the Statehouse! Due to space restrictions caused by COVID, advocates will be gathering at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier for a day of advocacy in action. Legislators will be joining us for lunch, which will include a panel discussion and some special recognitions. Together we will witness the passage of a House concurrent resolution designating Wednesday, April 27, 2022 as Alzheimer’s Awareness Day at the State House. We will also have options for virtual participation.