ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (FOX) – The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting the community to join them for their upcoming Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day to address the public about policy issues that are currently affecting New Mexico families facing Alzheimer’s disease. The executive director of the New Mexico Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Tim Sheahan and Public Policy Director Tommy Hernandez visit the set to discuss the upcoming event.
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia and is a fatal brain disease that has no prevention, proven treatment or cure. Currently, there are 5.8 million Americans living with the disease. By the year 2050, it’s expected that the total number will rise to 14 million. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day is held every year during the state legislature by the Alzheimer’s Association New Mexico chapter to address this public health crisis and this year will take place on February 5. The disease takes a devastating toll on those who have it as well as entire families.
There are 41,000 New Mexicans living with Alzheimer’s and there are 108,000 unpaid dementia caregivers, many of whom are family members. This event is a crucial opportunity for addressing public policy issues that affect families facing the disease.
The event will feature remarks from state legislators and other key figures who have joined the chapter in the battle to end Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association is currently working to get state governments to increase public awareness of the disease, build a dementia-capable workforce, increase access to home and community-based services, and enhance the quality of care in residential settings.
They are also working with legislators on House Bill 96 (Cognitive Decline and Caregiving Data) which proposes $100,000 to the Department of Health to fund survey questions about cognitive decline and caregiving in the DOH’s statewide public health survey. This is important to New Mexico due to the state’s aging population.
Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day will take place on Wednesday, February 5 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Capitol Building located at 490 Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe. A press conference will be held at 10 a.m. The event is free to attend.
The New Mexico Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has been providing services and support to families affected by this disease since 1983. The chapter serves the entire state of New Mexico and offers free resources including information and referral, support groups, caregiver education, care consultations, respite reimbursement and a 24/7 helpline 1-800-272-3900.