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Sicker & Poorer
Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2014 1:45 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408

Advocacy Updates 2013

AFA provides periodic advocacy updates designed to give a brief overview of AFA’s advocacy efforts and legislative activity.

November 2013

New Report Shines Light on Sequestration’s Impact on Alzheimer’s Disease

NDD United, an alliance of more than 3,200 national, state and local organizations—including the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)—in mid-November released one of the most comprehensive reports to date about the impact of sequestration on American society. “Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Secure” shines a light on the people behind the programs impacted by these automatic, across-the-board cuts, including cuts to research and caregiver services related to Alzheimer’s disease.

The report features one experience of an AFA member, Porterville (Calif.) Adult Day Services (PADS), which relies on funding from the Older Americans’ Act (OAA) to serve the community’s low-income clients, most of whom have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. For PADS, sequestration has meant the loss of $90,000 in Alzheimer’s disease demonstration grants from OAA and a $10,000 loss to the program’s nutritional component. In addition, the agency had to take other drastic measures to combat budgetary shortfalls, including reducing both staff salaries and the number of scholarships for low-income clients.

According to Cheri Taylor, PADS’ executive director, “These (OAA) programs allow people with Alzheimer’s disease to remain in their homes longer …. Any ‘savings’ from sequestration would pale in comparison to the added costs resulting from unnecessary hospitalizations, premature nursing home placements, and greater financial and emotional strains on family caregivers.”

As Congress works towards a December 15 deadline for a FY’14 federal budget, AFA urges Alzheimer’s disease stakeholders to contact their congressional representatives and encourage them to support a balanced fiscal approach, which will roll back sequestration. Click here or call the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121.