The Florida Adult Day Services Association, Inc. (FADSA) is opposed to the proposed budget cuts in the Florida Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services to the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative Funding and to the Memory Disorder Clinics. It is imperative for the State of Florida to invest in the economic and humanity of the well-being for its citizens rather than reduce and take steps backwards costing tax payers more in the long run.
Consider the following:
- First in the nation, Florida established the “Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative” in 1985 (Florida Statute 430.501 – 430.504) 430.502 Alzheimer’s disease; memory disorder clinics and day care and respite care programs.— (2) It is the intent of the Legislature that research conducted by a memory disorder clinic receive some support from State funds.
- Florida is the state with the second highest number of residents over the age of 65 with Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S.
- Between 2016 and 2025, the State of Florida is predicted to have a 41% increase in AD rates. The economic impact of this disease will be overwhelming. There is sufficient evidence that people with AD who receive active (and early) medical care and caregivers who receive appropriate supportive services reduces premature institutionalization and saves tax dollars. Nursing home care costs in Florida are at least $87,600 per year per person.
Florida leads the nation in its longstanding visionary approach to coordinated care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD). Reducing any funding will result in the risk of elimination of the below statistics:
From July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016, the Memory Disorder Clinics completed the following:
- Memory Disorder Clinics across the state completed 9,810 medical memory evaluations, saw 4,745 new patients, with 16,569 office visits made by patients and their caregivers.
- 1,529 free memory screenings were conducted by trained Memory Disorder Clinic staff.
- Evaluated 7,006 people with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, accompanied by 2,977 family or significant others.
- 26,739 referrals were made to medical or community services for patients and families who came to the Memory Disorder Clinics.
- 7,131 family caregivers received educational training from the clinics on how to care for a loved one at home who has dementia.
- 3,828 hours of training were provided to 33,240 family caregivers, medical professionals, health students, social service workers, and the general public.
- The Memory Disorder Clinics followed up with family members upon the cancellation of 239 Silver Alerts to provide education, resources, and referrals to assist the family with the recovered person and to help prevent future elopement that could result in serious injury or death of that person with ADRD.
In an aging population, especially with the tsunami of the baby boomers, Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias have the potential to bankrupt Florida’s Medicaid, medical insurance, long term care programs and other senior care systems. Early diagnosis, treatment, and coordination of care for the families struggling with the management of progressive dementia, starting at the primary care point of entry, can mitigate the growing social and financial burdens on health care systems, Medicaid, Medicare and caregivers.
If Florida is going to keep ahead of the devastating surge of seniors that will be seeking diagnosis, treatment and supportive services, it must avoid the disaster that would follow the reduction of funding to the excellent Department of Elder Affairs, Alzheimer’s Disease network whose programs, services, education, outreach, and research, in the midst of continued progress to overcome this overwhelming disease, strive to help families cope optimally.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Florida Adult Day Services Association,
Christine Powers, President