ATLANTA — A new Georgia task force on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is asking for the public’s input on how the state can improve care, support, and awareness activities for residents coping with dementia. The comments will be used to develop a statewide plan to address the needs of a growing population of Georgians living with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias.
The Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force, created earlier this year by the Georgia General Assembly, will hold public forums throughout the state during August. It is also seeking public comments online through the Department of Human Services Division of Aging website, www.aging.ga.gov.
“The task force’s plan will become Georgia’s blueprint for improving dementia prevention and treatment, community services, family support, and public awareness,” said Dr. James Bulot, chairman of the group and director of the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services.
More than 120,000 Georgians are living with Alzheimer’s disease today. By 2025, the population is expected to grow by one-third.
Across the U.S., deaths attributable to Alzheimer’s grew 68 percent between 2000 and 2010. To meet a growing national health crisis, the federal government created the National Alzheimer’s Plan, and more than 40 states are developing strategies of their own. Georgia’s plan addresses Alzheimer’s and less commonly diagnosed types of dementia.
The six-person dementia task force includes Sen. Renee Unterman, Rep. Tommy Benton, and Rep. Sharon Cooper, plus commissioners of the Departments of Public Health and Community Health and the director of the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services.
The task force will also hear from more than 50 advisors, representing fields such as research, medicine, law enforcement, workforce development, and service delivery. Advisors will help the task force analyze challenges facing the state and develop recommendations to improve prevention, care, safety, education, and support services.
“This plan must represent the very real everyday needs of Georgians who are affected, so community input is critical, said Dr. Bulot.
The task force will accept comments for the plan through Aug. 31. Visit www.aging.ga.gov and click “Get Involved” to submit your comments, find resources, and read updates about Georgia’s State Plan on Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias. For information about a variety of services available through Georgia’s 12 Area Agencies on Aging, contact the DHS Division of Aging Services at 866-552-4464.