Brown’s Legislation to Advance Alzheimer’s Support in Pennsylvania Passes Senate

Sen. Brown and advocates from the Alzheimer’s Association speaking at a press conference earlier this year in support of Senate Bill 840.

HARRISBURG – After two years of dedicated work, legislation to advance support for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) has been passed by the Senate today, according to Sen. Rosemary M. Brown (R-40), the sponsor of the bill.

“Today marks a significant step forward in our efforts to support the many Pennsylvania families affected by Alzheimer’s Diseases and Related Disorders,” said Brown. “Just as these families have shown their steadfast dedication to their loved ones, it is time for our state to demonstrate the same level of commitment.”

Senate Bill 840 aims to significantly improve Pennsylvania’s response to the growing ADRD crisis by establishing a permanent ADRD Division and an ADRD Advisory Committee within the Department of Aging. The entities would collaborate to bring stakeholders together, advocate for effective policies and secure federal funding.

“This legislation is critical in addressing the Alzheimer’s crisis in Pennsylvania,” said Brown. “Our current approach lacks the necessary coordination, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for comprehensive care and support. While we have a state plan, progress has stalled. It is time to recognize the effort and coordination required.”

The creation of the ADRD Division and Advisory Committee will not only enhance coordination but also improve Pennsylvania’s ability to secure federal funding and implement effective policies for those affected by Alzheimer’s and related disorders.

“Our mission is clear – we must break down bureaucratic barriers and foster collaboration across government agencies,” Brown said. “This is more than just policy – it is a commitment to protect our loved ones and ensure Pennsylvania leads the way in Alzheimer’s care and support.”

Currently, 280,000 seniors in Pennsylvania live with Alzheimer’s, a number expected to rise to 320,000 by 2025. In 2020, the state spent nearly $3.7 billion on Medicaid costs for Alzheimer’s care, with projections indicating more than a 10% increase in the coming years. Pennsylvania families cover 70% of the total lifetime cost of caring for someone with dementia, including out-of-pocket health expenses and the substantial value of unpaid care. In 2022, more than 404,000 unpaid caregivers in Pennsylvania provided care worth more than $10.7 billion.

“Senate Bill 840 is about ensuring that our loved ones receive the best possible care, support and guidance,” Brown said. “By streamlining our efforts and fostering collaboration, we can make a real difference in the lives of those affected by ADRD.”

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Christine Zubeck

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