Alzheimer’s care the focus of upcoming town hall in Bellingham

The Alzheimer’s Association will host a town hall in Bellingham this November to educate the public about a state-led plan to address and prepare Washingtonians for the impacts of dementia-related diseases.

The Alzheimer’s Association is a leading health organization in dementia-related care, support and research.

“These town halls are an effort to continue the attention of state officials to the importance of addressing the challenges of better supporting people with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them.” said Alzheimer’s Association executive director Bob Le Roy in statement.

In 2014, the state legislature passed legislation to develop a plan that addresses major goals, strategies and recommendations for individuals dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related diseases. The 159-page plan details ways to promote early detection and improved management of the condition, protect individuals with the disease, expand services and prepare communities, among other things.

“While there is still no known way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s, […] our state plan proposes common sense steps that we can take to promote brain health; address legal, financial and care planning; improve the quality of life for those living with dementia; ease the strain on family caregivers and reduce associated costs in the future,” said Washington governor Jay Inslee in the plan’s foreword.

According to the plan from January 2016, an estimated 107,000 people in Washington have Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related diseases; the number is expected to reach more than 270,000 by 2040. Also in Washington, an upwards of 324,000 unpaid family caregivers care for individuals with dementia-related diseases, according to the plan.

“The state plan will help public and private sectors organize to address the growing population of diagnosed individuals in Washington,” read a statement from the Alzheimer’s Association. “It addresses meeting the needs of caregivers, reducing stigma associated with dementia, raising awareness, increasing availability and affordability of long-term services and also supports increasing the quality and availability of paid aides.”

The upcoming town hall is free to the public and will take place between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1 at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, located at 315 Halleck Street in Bellingham. To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/2wC1m9h.

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