Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A rally is happening Thursday at the Minnesota State Capitol over the effect Alzheimer’s disease could have on the state’s future budget. Activists say if the state doesn’t prepare for this, costs from Alzheimer’s could reach $10 billion in 20 years.
A report was given to the legislature on the potential financial burden the disease could put on the state. The findings stem from action the legislature took in 2009 when they developed a group to study Alzheimer’s disease and to find out what the impact could be on the state financially and socially as the baby boomer population ages.
The cost of it all is why supporters called for lawmakers to work together coming up with solutions to handle what they believe could be an Alzheimer’s crisis.
Experts who worked on the study say the state needs to start focusing on early detection and public awareness. Everyone at the capitol was wearing purple in support of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Charles Denny, whose wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1994, was part of the focus group.
“I abandoned all profession and social relations to provide her with the intensive care 24 hours a day that is required by this disease. This time, the past 20 years has been taken from our lives and it is a journey that is not yet over,” said Denny.
Members of the group and Alzheimer’s association said the state needs a better health care model to take care of people with Alzheimer’s.
They believe by having more state programs working together on early detection and public awareness it will help alleviate a potential crisis.
This is not a proposed bill, just recommendations on how to move forward.
WCCO-TV’s Holly Wagner Reports