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Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care

WHEREAS, the prevalence of Alzheimer's/Dementia is on the rise by all available measures; and

WHEREAS, Dementia is a large and growing problem, caused by: drugs and medicines, alcohol, malignant hypertension, and Alzheimer's; and

WHEREAS, some forms of Dementia can be prevented or controlled; and

WHEREAS, the progress of Alzheimer's can sometimes be slowed for a while (approximately 2-10 years); and

WHEREAS, the resources of the Alzheimer's/Dementia patient's family are often strained while they attempt to provide for increasing care needs for their loved one; and

WHEREAS, households of color are often under-resourced for long–term medical needs; and

WHEREAS, households of color are often reluctant to seek professional diagnosis and/or help for the family member with indicia of diminished mental capacity; and

WHEREAS, family members often lack the training required to deal with the new needs of the recently impacted Alzheimer's/Dementia patient; and

WHEREAS, the families often are left to "take in" or "watch" the patient to make sure that the potential for injury is mitigated; and

WHEREAS, each family member of working age called upon to aid in the care of the patient may lose the opportunity to earn wages during the care period; and

WHEREAS, the Alzheimer's/Dementia patient can fail to remember the names and faces of their spouses, children, and friends; and

WHEREAS, Alzheimer's/Dementia patients may become agitated with directions contrary to their desires of the moment or refusals to allow their free movement; and

WHEREAS, the general public often lacks information regarding care resources, insurance and estate planning, and counseling services available to family members; and

WHEREAS, private insurance varies significantly in what is deemed appropriate care for the patient; and

WHEREAS, working–age family members of Alzheimer's/Dementia patients may be impacted in various ways, including being required to actually provide care for their family member; and

WHEREAS, the care of the patient can be so demanding that necessary wages are lost, available sick leave is depleted, and property maintenance is often neglected causing significant economic reverberations for the individual, the family, and community; and

WHEREAS, the consequences of these patient care demands impact everyone directly or indirectly; and

WHEREAS, lack of funding for mental health services in the United States has created a national crisis which directly involves and includes many communities of color.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls for an increase of funding at the Federal level for overall mental health and for Alzheimer's/Dementia research, including for early diagnosis, care, and treatment; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP units will educate their members and families on the above facts, and the importance of getting early diagnosis and treatment and providing long term care.