SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As part of her work to raise awareness and support efforts to end all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is spearheading a measure that would establish a full-time Dementia Coordinator position at the Illinois Department of Public Health. The coordinator would be responsible for implementing the existing Illinois Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan which has been neglected due to a lack of funding throughout the state budget impasse.
“The previous administration’s unprecedented budget impasse decimated funding for research and care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. My legislation will expand the care, support, education, and awareness provided by the Department of Public Health to families and caregivers who are impacted by this terrible disease,” said Manley. “Each year more and more people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and at earlier ages. This bill will address the vital needs of Illinois families and caregivers who face daily emotional, physical and financial challenges that come with all forms of dementia-related illnesses.”
The creation of the Dementia Coordinator position will have no fiscal impact as it will be funded with existing dollars raised from an income tax check-off program, which is comprised of voluntary contributions from Illinois residents who check a box on their income tax return for Alzheimer’s funding each year. Manley has been a long-time advocate for policies that help individuals facing Alzheimer’s disease, and through this legislation, Illinois can better coordinate care and support for the over 230,000 Illinoisans living with Alzheimer’s and their over 590,000 caregivers without a fiscal impact to the State.
“If we’re going to beat Alzheimer’s we need to focus on how and where we direct resources, and using an existing revenue source from the income tax check-off, which continues to increase each year, helps us toward our goal,” continued Manley. “Alzheimer’s and other related dementia diseases are one of the most expensive diseases to manage and treat. It effects hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans, so we need to focus on a well-managed coordinated effort of care.”
For more information, please contact Manley’s constituent service office at 815-725-2741 or RepManley@gmail.com.