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Dear Decaturish – Thank you, Rep. Karla Drenner and Sen. Elena Parent

Decatur Editor's Pick Metro ATL

Dear Decaturish – Thank you, Rep. Karla Drenner and Sen. Elena Parent

Closeup of the Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Connor Carey. Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Dear Decaturish,

As an Alzheimer’s Association Champion for Sen. Elena Parent, I want to publicly thank her for her support during the session of the Georgia General Assembly this year.

I also want to sincerely thank Rep. Karla Drenner for her support during the legislative session, and her commitment to supporting our issues.

I am an Alzheimer’s Association advocate because both of my grandmothers lived with dementia for years. I saw them lose a lot of their autonomy and our relationships changed to being more distant. It was incredibly difficult for both of my grandmothers and my family to come to terms with. I met with Senator Parent at the rope line under the Gold Dome during the legislative session of this year, and her willingness to take the time to hear my personal story, and why I became an advocate was incredibly valuable.

The Association and its advocates were successful in accomplishing our priorities as listed below:

– In the FY19 Supplemental Budget, inclusion of $350,000 for the Georgia Department of Public Health to implement a state-wide Alzheimer’s and other dementias awareness campaign focusing on risk factors, warning signs, and the need for an early/accurate diagnosis — and seeing a physician to get that diagnosis

– Increasing funding for Home and Community-Based Services — this was increased by $2 million, providing an estimated 1053 slots on the waiting list of 7,000 Georgians

– HR 533, creating a House Study Committee on Innovative Senior Living Options passed the House on March 28, by a vote of 171-2. The resolution creates a House study committee that will meet later in this year to study the issue and develop recommendations for options to consider going into the 2020 legislative session. The goal of the study committee is to look at financial options, reimbursements and any barriers to having more affordable housing options for seniors. This would include options for seniors living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. We appreciate Representative John LaHood (R-Valdosta) for sponsoring the resolution.

I also want to give a special “thank you” to the House Appropriations Committee, Chaired by Rep. Terry England, and Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Jack Hill for seeing the need for an Awareness Campaign and funding it in FY19, and for funding the much-needed increases in funding for Home and Community-Based Services…and to Gov. Brian Kemp for also recognizing the needs.

I would like to thank the General Assembly and Gov. Brian Kemp for seeing the need to support Georgians living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Sincerely,

Katy Adishian

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