What are the latest Alzheimer’s Advocacy Advancements in Oregon?

This has been quite a year for advances in Alzheimer’s Advocacy in Oregon.  As a review, in 2012, the State Plan for Azlheimer’s Disease in Oregon outlined 5 areas of focus:

Goal 1: Enhance Public Awareness and Engagement

A. Increase public awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, and how to access resources that help those impacted by the disease.

B. Create a website that provides a single entry point to link to existing information and resources on Alzheimer’s disease and related                         dementias.

Goal 2: Optimize Care Quality and Efficiency

A. Develop and implement quality standards and measurable outcomes for dementia care in Oregon’s long-term care and hospital                        settings  and measure success of existing standards for memory care.

B. Ensure that Oregon has a dementia-capable licensed health care workforce.

Goal 3: Protect Individuals with Dementia

A. Require that all Oregon guardians, both family and professional, receive training on dementia, as well as on the responsibilities and                ethics of representing a person with dementia.

B. Expand capacity to protect the safety and well-being of individuals with dementia.

Goal 4: Improve Access to Quality Care  (Click here to see my dad, Bill Whitney, and I testifying on this at the state capitol in 2012)

A. Develop appropriate care settings and services for persons with dementia who require a higher level of expertise and staff in helping                manage their significant behavioral needs.

B. Increase access to medical care providers who serve those with Alzheimer’s and related dementia.

Goal 5: Comprehend, Prevent, and Effectively Treat Dementia and its Impact

A. Establish a coordinated data system to improve Oregon’s ability to plan for and provide effective resources regarding Alzheimer’s                     disease and related dementias.

B. Expand existing dementia research and participation in Oregon research efforts.

On February 24, 2014, the Silver Alert Bill SB 1577 passed both sides of the legislature, and is now on the books.  It addresses SPADO 3B, increasing the safety and well-being of individuals with dementia.  See this article which describes Senator Knopp’s personal reasons for creating this bill.  This story is from the Lund Report and provides additional information.  Here is another article, written by the NW News Network.

Currently, SPADO sub-committees are working hard on legislation for each of these areas.  Each goal has sub-goals.

We will soon be seeing more education available for “gatekeepers”, people who come in contact with seniors, such as utility workers, postal service workers, bankers and others.  We hope to soon be seeing the results of more training for medical professionals i.e. physicians and their staff, and for senior community professionals.