State Senator Kevin Kelly Joins Discussion to Advance Care for Alzheimer’s Patients

April 13, 2011

State Senator Kevin Kelly partking in the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s panel discussion at the State Capitol.

HARTFORD – Today, State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) partook in a panel discussion, sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, to highlight the growing concerns of Alzheimer’s disease.

After a legislative breakfast and brief remarks, Senator Kelly joined Senator Edith Prague (D-19), Representative Peggy Sayers (D-60) and invited specialists to provide information and insight on public policy and current elder care programs.

“Discussions such as these provide a great opportunity to work with my legislative colleagues and industry professionals to determine how we can better care for Connecticut’s aging,” said Senator Kelly. “Alzheimer’s disease affects nearly 70,000 seniors in our state requiring a tremendous number of caregivers and time.”

At today’s meeting, Senator Kelly used his background as an elder law attorney to provide a legal context on the need for programs such as the Alzheimer’s Respite Program and the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders.

Senator Kelly noted that, “There is a human message here that needs to be properly addressed. Programs such as the Alzheimer’s Respite Program must be supported to provide caregivers and families with vital relief. If we do not put policy or programs in place to ensure that caregivers are able to care for themselves, how do we expect them to care for their loved ones in need?

“It is also important to note that nursing home and institutional care costs the state and taxpayers more than home care. By advancing the breadth of current respite and home care programs, our seniors can age in place, remain within their communities and save the state money.”

Other topics addressed during the panel discussion included ongoing research to delay disease effects, the statewide and national costs of patient care, and the special needs of both Alzheimer patients and caregivers.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading, global voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care and support, and the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer research. The Connecticut Chapter is one of over 70 Alzheimer’s Association chapters serving communities across the United States.