Harrisburg, PA – Today, Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne hosted the first meeting of Pennsylvania’s Alzheimer’s State Plan Task Force. Announced in May of this year, the task force was formed to take a lead role in implementing and championing the goals and recommendations of Pennsylvania’s State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders.
“There are over 400,000 Pennsylvanians living with Alzheimer’s or a related disorder, and over 675,000 caregivers in the state who are caring for loved ones with the disease,” said Secretary Osborne. “The Wolf Administration is profoundly grateful for the task force members’ willingness to help move our state plan forward. Each member has been personally touched by this disease and is committed to sharing their experience and expertise as we strive to bring together the diverse efforts from across the state in order to meet the needs of individuals living with dementia and their caregivers.”
Objectives of the task force include:
- Working with local organizations, entities, advocates, and other stakeholders to identify and share best practices that support the goals and the overall success of the plan
- Leading efforts to continuously review, revise, and update the plan
- Developing and facilitating the actions needed to carry out the plan
- Encouraging research and reviewing any other issues that are relevant to Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders
- Assisting in planning the annual Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Forum
“Every community throughout PA is impacted by dementia in some way,” said Clay Jacobs, task force member and Vice President of Programs and Services for the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Pennsylvania Chapter. “The task force has an opportunity to move forward important, practical recommendations that will ensure positive change for all those living with dementia.”
In 2014, the Department of Aging released Pennsylvania’s State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders. The plan, using public input, outlines seven key recommendations to develop a strategy to mobilize the commonwealth’s response to the anticipated increase in incidences of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Since the plan was developed, the department has held three statewide forums and seven regional roundtable discussions to engage with stakeholders and inspire action at the local level.
In addition to the formation of the state plan task force, Secretary Osborne recently joined advocates from the Alzheimer’s Association for their day on the hill in Washington DC, and testified at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Alzheimer’s Hearing – Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer’s: Reducing Risk, Detecting Early Symptoms and Improving Data.
To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, visit alz.org. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, visit aging.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Drew Wilburne, 717-705-3702
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