Volunteer advocates from across the state will urge lawmakers to pass legislation to help Hoosiers affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia during the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter’s virtual Day of Action on Feb. 1, 2022.

Alzheimer’s Association advocates will push for three legislative priorities, including SB 353, authored by Sen. Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) and Sen. Stacey Donato (R-Logansport), which would require minimum dementia training standards for home health aides.

“More and more Hoosiers facing dementia are opting for in-home care, yet home health aides in Indiana receive little or no training on caring for someone with the disease,” said David Sklar, director of government affairs, Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter. “It is crucial that home health aides receive adequate training so they are prepared to provide quality patient-centered care.”

Advocates will also push for HB 1087, authored by Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Logansport), to create a dementia coordinator role in state government and two proposed bills – HB 1123, authored by Rep. Gregory Porter (D-Indianapolis) and SB 112, authored by Sen. Donato – that would add Alzheimer’s expertise to Indiana’s Medicaid Advisory Committee.

“We had a major public policy victory in Indiana last year with the passage of a bill to require a state dementia plan,” continued Sklar. “That law was a critical first step in making Indiana a more dementia-friendly state, and we hope to build on that momentum during this session with an ambitious agenda. State legislators on both sides of the aisle recognize the urgent need to address this issue.”

About 110,000 Hoosiers are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. Another 215,000 are serving as unpaid family caregivers. The cost of serving Hoosiers living with Alzheimer’s and dementia on the Medicaid program reached $1.1 billion in 2020, and that number is expected to increase more than 17 percent by 2025.

Registration for the virtual Day of Action is open, and no prior advocacy experience is required. More information is available at bit.ly/INadvocacy2022.