Advocates are pushing for Kansas lawmakers to establish a task force to develop and implement a state Alzheimer’s plan.
Kansas is the only state in the country that does not have a strategy to deal with the progressive disease.
Medicaid costs to care for the 53,000 Kansans living with Alzheimer's is $420 million a year. That number is expected to increase 30 percent by 2025.
"Most states have used these state plans to create fantastic policies that have helped caregivers and people with the disease, and even help reduce the economic impact of the disease on their state," says James Covel, a public policy specialist with the Alzheimer’s Association. "Kansas just hasn’t quite taken that step."
Covel says advocates have been in contact with Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer about a state plan since July.
"There’s a strong possibility that he'll issue an executive order when he takes over the governorship to create a state plan, but nothing is 100 percent," Covel says.
State plans usually include recommendations on dementia training and improving and expanding home and community-based services.
Carla Eckels is director of cultural diversity and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.
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