Ridgefield Students Join Senator Kelly for Alzheimer’s Lobby Day

March 20, 2014

Hartford – Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21), Ranking Member of the General Assembly’s Aging Committee, welcomed a group of Ridgefield students to Hartford yesterday as part of the Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter Lobby Day at the Capitol.

“Alzheimer’s and dementia are growing problems in Connecticut,” said Senator Kelly. “Data released today from the Alzheimer’s Association shows that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is 1 in 6 for a woman and 1 in 11 for a man. The numbers show us this is not only an aging issue, but a women’s issue as well. We have to raise the level of awareness about this disease, and we need to do more to support those suffering as well as those who provide care.”

The 6th grade students from East Ridge Middle School met with Senator Kelly to discuss legislative efforts to support Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. They also visited the offices of other state legislators to lobby in support of Senate Bill 179 An Act Concerning the Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Task Force’s Recommendations on Training. The students handed out flyers about the bill and told the legislators why they wanted them to support the legislation.

“This event is a great way for patients, care givers and even young students to learn about what’s being done in the legislature to help support those suffering from Alzheimer’s,” said Laurie Julian, Director of Public Policy at the Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter. “The students learned about the legislative process and got to lobby legislators, empowering them to advocate for issues that matter most to them.”

The proposed bill the students lobbied in support of was created as a result of the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Task Force’s recommendations on training. There are currently few Alzheimer’s and dementia training requirements for care givers, and this legislation seeks to put new standards in place to extend training to more health professionals.

“As Connecticut’s population continues to get older, and all baby boomers enter into their senior years, we will see an increase in age-related problems like dementia and Alzheimer’s. We have to do more to make sure our caregivers and health professionals are prepared to help those in need,” said Senator Kelly.