Prioritizing Florida's seniors and their families
Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis recently outlined details of a record-breaking package of funding and research and support initiatives that will focus on Alzheimer's disease - the cognitive decline most-commonly experienced by seniors. The announcement came with the signing of Senate Bill 806.
Funding for Alzheimer's and dementia care has increased by almost 60% under Governor DeSantis and the package announced last week will include $52.3 million for the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative Program and $91.7 million for the Community Care for the Elderly Program. The funding is part of Florida's so-called 'Freedom First' budget that was signed-off by Gov. DeSantis earlier in June. The budget will see the expenditure of over $109 billion of state funds in 2022-23.
Alzheimer's - a significant problem for Florida
With a larger than average population of seniors, drawn to retire to Florida thanks to its favorable climate amongst other things, Alzheimer's is a significant problem within the state. As of 2019, the state had the second highest instance of Alzheimer's in all of the United States.
Around 560,000 Floridians were thought to be suffering from the disease in 2019 and the number is projected to increase to around 720,000 by 2025. With so many people and their families suffering daily with it and other forms of dementia, the allocation of such significant funding seems like a positive thing.
Help for sufferers of the disease
Commenting on the initiative, Governor DeSantis was keen to emphasize the importance of seniors and addressing their healthcare needs.
"Supporting Floridians suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia is an important part of supporting our seniors. We are working to make sure that any Floridian suffering from this terrible disease can access resources while also supporting innovative technologies that will open up doors for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in the future.”
The new bill will implement measures as part of the Ramping up Education of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia for You (READY) Act. As well as funding better care for sufferers of the disease, the act will build upon the infrastructure available to support impacted seniors, families and caregivers, already established within the Florida Alzheimer's Center of Excellence.
This research centre has built innovative partnerships with research firm INSIGHTEC and a consortium of Florida universities that identify patients for the Blood Brain Barrier clinical trials for more effective treatment of Alzheimer’s.
With such focus being put upon the condition, hopefully there may be a chance for better therapies to be discovered and better support available for those who are affected by it.
Do you or your loved ones suffer from Alzheimer's disease? Do you feel that you've been able to access sufficient support to help you manage it? Let me know in the comments section below.