Alzheimer's Association seeks advocates for Iowans with Alzheimer's and their families

Published: January 15 2013 | 9:37 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 10:04 am in

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain and the 5th leading cause of death in Iowa. Despite promising scientific advances, there is still no way to prevent, treat or cure this disease. Local Alzheimer’s advocates who are interested in educating elected leaders to make Alzheimer’s disease a public policy priority and prepare Iowa for the future of Alzheimer’s are invited to attend the Alzheimer’s Association’s Iowa Day at the Hill on Tuesday, February 5, 2013.

Iowa is experiencing an increase in its older population as the first wave of baby boomers reach 65, the age of greatest risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. More than 10,000 baby boomers a day turn the age 65 – that’s one every eight seconds, a pattern that is expected to continue for the next 18 years. There are currently 69,000 residents in Iowa aged 65 and older battling Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In less than 15 years, this number is expected to soar to 77,000 people in state of Iowa.

On February 5th advocates from across Iowa are invited to gather at the State Capitol to discuss the implications Alzheimer’s disease will have on Iowa if no action is taken. “Like last year, our primary focus will be to establish an Alzheimer’s Disease Coordinator position and Multidisciplinary Advisory Group within the Iowa Department of Public Health," said Kelly Hauer, Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association East Central Iowa Chapter. "With an aging population, Iowa must be proactive and create a better infrastructure in preparation for the influx of new patients that will enter the system. Pressure is on the state to make the appropriate changes to handle the challenges that Alzheimer’s disease will create here in Iowa.”

The Alzheimer's Association Day at the Hill event allows advocates from all over Iowa to join together and let policy makers know that Alzheimer's disease priorities are important to them. All attendees will start the day with an advocacy training including information on how to communicate with legislators and background information on the Alzheimer’s Association’s current legislative priorities. Meetings with legislators will take place in the afternoon at the State Capitol Building. Legislators and staff will also be invited for cookies and conversation with local advocates.

Registration is free, but required before February 1st and may be completed at act.alz.org/2013iadath or by calling 1-800-272-3900. Lunch may be ordered at the time of registration for $7. Carpooling may be available, please indicate need when registering.

About the Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support, advocacy, and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org/eci.

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