04102019CM0791RSSPRINGFIELD – To advocate for Illinois Alzheimer’s patients, State Senator Suzy Glowiak (D-Western Springs) passed a measure to create a specialized position within the Illinois Department of Public Health to oversee the state’s Alzheimer’s efforts.

“I know as someone who cared for a husband and mother with Alzheimer’s disease, it can be stressful,” Glowiak said. “We need to ensure that caregivers have someone fighting to help them provide their loved ones with the best possible care.”

Glowiak’s Senate Bill 1726 creates the position of Dementia Coordinator in the Department of Public Health to oversee the implementation of the Illinois Alzheimer's Disease State Plan. Having a dedicated coordinator would help to address the complications and cost of a disease that has only gotten deadlier.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Illinois State Plan was established in January 2014 and is required to be updated every three years.

Nationally, the cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia was estimated at nearly $236 billion in 2016, and is expected to increase to $1.1 trillion in 2019 dollars by mid-century. Medicare and Medicaid cover about 68 percent of the total health care and long-term payments. In 2016, the Medicaid cost of caring for people with Alzheimer’s in Illinois was $1.5 billion.

Currently, the state plan cannot be implemented by IDPH due to lack of staff and other resources.

“Under the leadership of a statewide Dementia Coordinator, those living with Alzheimer’s will have a designated advocate to fight for state policies that will improve their level of care,” Glowiak said. “This new position would ensure our state is actively engaged in the fight against dementia.”

An equivalent position exists in state government in Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Puerto Rico.

Senate Bill 1726 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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