Members of the Idaho Alzheimer’s Planning Group, housed in the Center for the Study of Aging at Boise State, have taken a step forward in battling Alzheimer’s disease in Idaho.
On March 27, Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter signed Senate Concurrent Resolution 112, approved by the Idaho State Legislature, acknowledging the seriousness of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Idaho and endorsing the efforts of the Idaho Alzheimer’s Planning Group in working to develop an Alzheimer’s state plan.
“Alzheimer’s and other dementias are a pressing public health issue, especially in Idaho,” said Sarah Toevs, professor of community and environmental health, who is a member of the Alzheimer’s Planning Group. “We must do everything in our power to fight this disease and this resolution is a big step toward the goal of creating an Alzheimer’s state plan.”
With the passage of the resolution, the planning group will continue to gather Idaho-specific information about existing needs and available resources, and will work toward expanding their network of partners. Currently, 27 states have some sort of plan that addresses Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is a devastating and debilitating disease that has a tremendous impact on thousands of Idaho families. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 75,000 caregivers provided an estimated 85 million hours of unpaid care to those living with Alzheimer’s in Idaho. Idaho’s mortality rate from Alzheimer’s disease is higher than the national average and 41 percent of Idahoans in nursing homes are suffering from the disease.
The Idaho Alzheimer’s Planning Group is a volunteer task force that consists of members from the Center for the Study of Aging, Alzheimer’s Association, AARP Idaho, the Idaho Commission on Aging, service providers and other advocates.