When we become aware that there is a problem looming, we typically assess the problem, think about the options, then put in place a plan to address that problem. Some of us are better at this than others.
Right now, thirty-four other states either have an Alzheimer’s State plan or have a study committee or task force currently working to develop a plan—much as our country has created a National Alzheimer’s Plan. Georgia, however, is not one of those states.
Yet, even after two attempts where the Georgia Senate passed resolutions to create a study committee or a task force, neither was appointed—due to budget constraints.
How else will we be ready when funds are available…don’t we need to assess what is already in place, what gaps exist, and therefore what our roadmap should be?
Don’t we need to build a strong collaborative effort between the Georgia State Government, voluntary health organizations, non-profit organizations, the faith community, and professional organizations representing those medical and care professionals providing services to Georgians with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families?
Georgia has programs to address many issues—both health-related and non-health-related:
- Cancer (Breast and Cervical Cancer),
- Comprehensive Cancer Control Program,
- Cardiovascular Health,
- Diabetes Prevention and Control,
- Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention Program,
- Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan,
- Comprehensive State-wide Water Management Plan,
- Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan
- State Plan on Aging
- Agriculture Strategic Plan
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. There is no other chronic disease that affects so many without a way to cure, prevent, or even slow its progression. Between 2000 and 2008m, while death attributed to the number one cause of death, heart disease, decreased 13%, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease has risen 66%
The Time Is NOW–Georgia needs an Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan now. Tell your state senator to vote for Senate Bill 14!
Alzheimer’s can’t wait…Georgians with Alzheimer’s can’t wait!