Oct 20, 2011

Let's Take it to the Parks and Make a Real Case for Alzheimer's

I have so much on my mind right now, I can't figure out what I want to write about next. Here ya go.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

We the People, the Alzheimer's and dementia people, have to come out of our caves.

We need a national day. A day when we roll out of our caves and right into the parks and common areas of our cities and let everyone see us.

This means Alzheimer's caregivers, family members that care, people that care about us, and yes, most importantly, ever person living with dementia that can walk, or be rolled up. We are the We.

No begging for money. No guilt trip. No fear tactic. No long winded speeches by so called "experts" making the big dough for being our so called advocates.

Just us.

We can hold hands and sing. Maybe sing Kumbaya. Or, Mary Had a Little Lamb. I'll work on it.

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The Alzheimer's Foundation just issued a new report -- No Time to Waste.

Here is the their description of the report -- "specific, hard-hitting recommendations on both care and cure to tackle Alzheimer's disease—and urged swift implementation of a national strategy on this growing public health crisis that threatens an increasing number of American families, including aging baby boomers, and the nation's budget".

The cover page looks nice. Here go take a look. Start reading, let me know how far you get, how far you read before you quit. Come back here and let me know.

You know, when I was a kid, sometimes I would get to go to the candy store. I picked out one delicious piece of candy. If they would have let me I would have picked out 42 delicious pieces of candy, and then I would have eaten them all right on the spot. Yes, I would have ended up with a stomach ache.

What is my point? Most of these reports that come out telling government what they need to do to fight Alzheimer's are demanding all the candy in the candy store. It is not going to happen.

We need to decide what delicious piece of candy we want right now. One piece. Nobody is going to listen to a long winded pig.

You might be thinking, alright BoZO, what is your great idea.

Thanks for asking.

I want $24 a day for every "qualified" Alzheimer's caregiver. Sounds nutty right?

Well Vermont is already paying out $45 a day. This part might get your attention.

Vermont has reduced its Medicaid nursing home population by about 20 percent. It actually saves Vermont Medicaid money to keep the ill at home and pay the caregiver $45 a day.

You are probably thinking there is no way those politician in Washington would ever support an idea as radical as mine or the program being offered in Vermont.

"the federal government beginning in 2007, encouraged states to use less strict medical standards, and make Medicaid more widely available to those who could be cared for at home."

That is where the Vermont program came from. I think this is available in 4 or 5 states now.

I am no Thomas Edison. We don't need to invent. The program has already been invented. Now all we need is implementation.

Here is the article I wrote about this in 2010, The Cost of the War on Alzheimer's Terrorism -- $24 a Day. Don't worry, the article is short and sweet. One piece of candy.

What do you think will work in Washington, D.C. Going up there and saying, we need a billion dollars for this, 2 billion dollars for this, 20 billion for this.


What we really need to do is enact a program nationally, that is already working, and will save the states money.

Save money.

We have to start working on ideas for programs that can solve problems and save money.

Look at it this way. It is going to cost the government more than they have to give in the long run to solve the Alzheimer's tsunami.

So, what we need to do is figure out how we can marry our own hard work and determination with a program that works and brings tangible benefits to Alzheimer's caregivers, patients and John Q Public.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,910 articles with more than 652,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room