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Maine’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Advocacy Day

The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting Maine’s Alzheimer’s & Dementia Advocacy Day on Thursday, January 30 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Hall of Flags on the second floor of the State House in Augusta. All Maine residents are welcome to attend. This day of state advocacy is designed to enable those affected by Alzheimer’s or other dementias to share their experiences face-to-face with state elected officials and influence them to address the economic impact of the Alzheimer’s epidemic and the care and support needs of Maine families. New data about cognitive decline in Maine from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) will be presented at a press conference at 11:30 a.m.

Alzheimer’s Association volunteer advocate Denise Kinney of Biddeford is living in the early stages of dementia. She explains, “This isn’t just happening to me, there are many Mainers walking around like this. These statistics are frightening. I am part of that number and I will be facing much greater challenges.” Kinney continues, “When I went public with my diagnosis, it was largely to increase awareness and to stamp out the stigma attached to the disease. I worry about my future, not for myself, but for my sons. Let’s do the right thing for all the people of Maine living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.”

In Maine there are 28,000 people living with Alzheimer’s and 69,000 friends and family providing more than 79 million hours of unpaid care valued at $998 million. In addition, more than half of all adults providing unpaid care to loved ones with dementia have been doing so for at least two years. MaineCare’s costs of caring for people with Alzheimer’s in 2019 was $205 million and is projected to increase by more than 36% by 2025. Nationwide, Alzheimer’s care is the country’s most expensive condition.

“We encourage Mainers who want to show their support of Maine families affected by dementia to join us,” explains Adam Lacher, Director of Advocacy at the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter. “Personal stories carry the power to motivate our state officials to combat the Alzheimer’s crisis and effect positive change.”

Featured speakers include: Laurie Bowie, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter will serve as the emcee; Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) will give an update on the state’s Healthy Brain Initiative work and the latest results from the 2018 Cognitive Decline BRFSS analysis; Rep. Margaret Craven and Rep. Kristen Cloutier will discuss why they are Alzheimer’s and dementia legislative champions; Dr. Gareth Howell, Associate Professor, The Jackson Laboratory will give an Alzheimer’s research update related to risk reduction; Denise Kinney, Advocate, Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter will share her experience living in the early stages of dementia.

Several community partners will join the Alzheimer’s Association including: Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, The Jackson Laboratory, Legal Services for the Elderly, Long Term Care Ombudsman, MaineHealth, Northern Light Acadia Hospital, and University of New England.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.

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