Alzheimer’s Association Plays Key Role in Illinois General Assembly Triumphs

If you don’t usually feel very optimistic on Friday the 13th, then let this news change your tune today.

Something good has sprung forth from the muck that is called the Illinois General Assembly. That’s right, something good and, dare I say, hopeful.

© Illinois.gov
© Illinois.gov

If you care for someone with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia in Illinois, rejoice in these three recent developments:

Public Act 97-0768. It’s much cooler than it sounds. It contains the Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Act and was signed by Governor Quinn this week after strong bipartisan support for its revision and renewal. The act addresses the growing public health crisis that Alzheimer’s poses for the State of Illinois and outlines a strategic plan for making Illinois a “dementia-capable” state. If you’re wondering what the heck that means (and I can’t blame you), check out my post on whether our society has accepted dementia as a legitimate health problem.

Senate Bill 3368. If you’re due for a visit to the DMV, consider purchasing the subject of this bill: a specialty Illinois license plate to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. Not only will the plate raise awareness, but a portion of the proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association. The bill currently remains in the House and is expected to be assigned to a special committee soon.

Illinois Alzheimer’s Legislators Alliance.  This bipartisan alliance to raise awareness among legislators about Alzheimer’s and related dementias is growing fast. The Alliance now boasts 22 Senators and 43 Representatives among its membership, and recruitment is ongoing.  The alliance receives briefings on the latest developments in Alzheimer’s research, programs, and community needs so legislators can make informed decisions about how to address Alzheimer’s in Illinois.

Although I praise the Illinois General Assembly for taking these recent actions, I can’t give them all the credit. In fact, the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association was instrumental in making all three of these things happen. The chapter and its network of volunteer advocates work tirelessly to transform ideas into action in a political system that is notoriously mired in difficulty.

So on this Friday the 13th, let’s forget about bad luck, doom and gloom and instead give a shout out to the Alzheimer’s Association and the Illinois General Assembly for their good work on behalf of those in Illinois with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

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