Governor Ron DeSantis highlighted key initiatives aimed at supporting Floridians living with Alzheimer’s and their caretakers. Speaking at the Evening of Hope fundraiser hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association in Palm Beach, the Governor outlined the measures taken by his administration.
“Floridians living with Alzheimer’s deserve our support and as long as I’m Governor, they can count on it,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I’m proud to announce our administration has taken important steps to ensure our state assists these individuals in getting the care they deserve and prioritizes the advancement of research needed for this disease.”
“Our administration is committed to working diligently to improve the lives of Floridians living with Alzheimer’s,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, who has been a prominent leader on health care throughout her time in the Florida House of Representatives and now through her work in the administration. “As the number of Floridians with this disease continues to grow, our state must take bold steps to find innovative solutions aimed at assisting these residents.”
“I’m extremely grateful that Governor DeSantis is demonstrating strong leadership to take Alzheimer’s research and awareness to the next level,” said Richard Prudom, Secretary of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. “This issue affects millions of Floridians, not just those living with dementia, but the caregivers and families affected as well. We look forward to working with the Governor and our sister agencies to make a difference in the lives of Florida families.”
Since taking office, Governor Ron DeSantis has:
- Directed the Department of Health to add Alzheimer’s and related dementias as a priority within the State Health Improvement Plan. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in Florida, and yet it is not directly addressed by the SHIP.
- Directed the Department of Health to apply to be a Center of Excellence pursuant to the Federal BOLD Act, in order to position Florida to pursue and receive federal grants for evidence-based approaches to treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s, dementia and cognitive decline. The Federal BOLD Act, signed in 2018, authorizes $20 million annually over 5 years ($100 million total) that would establish Alzheimer’s Public Health Centers of Excellence to promote Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving interventions as well to educate the public about the disease.
- Challenged institutions that house Florida Memory Disorder Clinics to provide matching funding to the clinics to allow for an increase in the number of individuals they serve with evaluation and diagnostic testing for dementia. Currently, the State of Florida has designated and funded 16 Memory Disorder Clinics (MDCs) which are established at medical schools, teaching hospitals and similar institutions. Each receives $222,801 in general revenue annually.
- Challenged local communities, who have not already done so, to expand the Dementia Care and Cure Initiative in their areas. Currently all but three Areas Agencies for Aging (AAA) are engaged in the Dementia Care and Cure Initiative (DCCI). In August 2015, the Department of Elder Affairs announced the Dementia Care and Cure Initiative to engage communities across the state to be more dementia friendly, promote better care for Floridians affected by dementia, and support research efforts to find a cure.
- Released the Bold Vision for a Brighter Future Budget which included financial backing to help those with this disease. The budget contained $3 million in funding to support the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative. This funding also serves similar memory disorders as well as their families. The supportive services include counseling, consumable medical supplies and respite for caregiver relief.